The number of startups in rural Wisconsin dropped by 50% since 1978, according to a recent Rural Innovation Report.
The report was conducted by the Wisconsin Startup Coalition (WSC) in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and Alliant Energy Corp.
The report found Wisconsin is below average in creating new businesses compared to other states. According to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal, there were 16 new businesses per 1,000 workers in rural Wisconsin in 1978, compared to 2018 when that rate was half at about eight new businesses per 1,000 workers.
Rural areas have more startup growth than urban areas in Wisconsin. The trend is due to more business proprietorship in rural areas. The Milwaukee Business Journal reports, the proprietors' share of employment in remote or adjacent to metro areas is high at 27% and 24%.
However, the report found the rate of statewide business applications increased in recent years. Applications in the last six months of 2020 were up 43% compared to the same time period in 2019, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports. Applications labeled “high propensity,” those likely to go on and hire employees, also increased 33%.