Entrepreneurial activity increased sharply in Wisconsin in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurship is a key part of any healthy economy but ensuring that new business activity leads to significant economic impact by creating high quality jobs can be difficult. Communities can take a lead role in a range of strategies that help entrepreneurs grow and be successful to make the most of this opportunity to improve their economies.


  • In Wisconsin, business applications reached the highest level on record during the pandemic.
  • Business applications increased by 21% from 2019 to 2020 and 23% from 2020 to 2021.
  • A small share of business applications will result in actual new businesses with paid employees.

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