Who will save the economy? It is all up to you. The entrepreneur. The Kauffman Foundation recognizes that entrepreneurs are the backbone of this economy, but rarely represent their opinions and ideas in a unified voice. To provide a platform for the entrepreneur’s voice, Build a Stronger America was launched last week. The website, Twitter feed, and Facebook fan page all encourage entrepreneurs to submit their ideas to solve real world problems.
As Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, explained in a story on the Huffington Post, “The vast majority of new jobs during tough economic times are created by entrepreneurs, and since 1980, all net job growth has come from businesses less than five years old. Entrepreneurs nationwide know firsthand the transformative effect that starting a business can have on individuals and on their communities.”
Schramm goes on to point out a great disconnect. While Americans understand the value of entrepreneurship and its contribution to job creation, “our national dialogue doesn't include comprehensive discussion of policies that promote private sector, job-creating reform.” Build a Stronger America, “is intended to fill that void by giving entrepreneurs the voice they need.”
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce appears to be listening, having just launched the new Office for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. According to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the Office will, “help entrepreneurs transform ideas into companies” by helping new business owners, “get training, credit and access to government research, in a bid to encourage the ‘right kind’ of risks by business leaders.” Secretary Locke believes that the primary focus of government support should be focused on the first step in the business cycle – moving an idea from “somebody’s imagination or from a research lab into a business plan.”
As an entrepreneur, what do you think? Can entrepreneurs self-organize to share their voice and influence a national dialogue?