The University of Chicago Law school looked at Chicago rules and regulations and concluded they were very onerous when it came to people setting up businesses. Chicago isn't friendly to mom and pop entrepreneurs. Those mom and pop entrepreneurs teach valuable lessons to their children when they start, own and operate a business. They train the next generation of entrepreneurs without formally undertaking it. The state of Illinois, and county of Cook isn't much better than Chicago as far as enacting business friendly rules and regulations to encourage growth.
Mom and Pop businesses also offer that support network for budding entrepreneurs. Do you want to office where there is no access to a sandwich shop or coffee shop? Dry cleaner, barber? It's tough to start those simple businesses in Chicago. Fees are high. When we talk about promoting entrepreneurship, we need to focus on big scalable businesses but we can't forget about the little guys.
Globally, when we look at how to jumpstart the economy, much of the world is turning to entrepreneurs. However, recently when people took a look at Greece, here is what they found when someone wanted to set up a web site.
"It took 10 months, a fat bundle of paperwork, countless certificates, long hours of haggling with bureaucrats and overcoming myriad other inconceivable obstacles for one group of young entrepreneurs to open an online store. …opening an online store based in Greece is no job for the fainthearted. …Antonopoulos and his partners spent hours collecting papers from tax offices, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the municipal service where the company is based, the health inspector’s office, the fire department and banks. At the health department, they were told that all the shareholders of the company would have to provide chest X-rays, and, in the most surreal demand of all, stool samples."
Dan Mitchell looks at the problem in Greece. I suspect most of western Europe is similar. Read the whole thing.