Kauffman Foundation’s new plan for American entrepreneurs demands inclusive growth

Editor’s note: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a financial sponsor of Startland News.

While a stimulus plan being debated by Congress includes funding to stabilize existing business — it’s not enough, the Start Us Up coalition said Tuesday, echoing a call to action by one of the nation’s leading advocates for entrepreneurs.

“Congress needs to take additional steps to the spur the creation of thousands of new businesses to strengthen the economy — particularly for people of color, women and rural residents,” according to the coalition, a group of 200 entrepreneurship advocates who champion the updated recommendations of America’s New Business Plan — a bipartisan policy roadmap released Tuesday by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The coalition called the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and racial inequity “dual pandemics” shaking the U.S. economy.

Philip Gaskin, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Philip Gaskin, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman’s revised plan includes recommendations for policies that directly impact new and small businesses as well as much larger issues that limit access to entrepreneurship and prosperity.

Click here to read a message from Wendy Guillies, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, “Let’s commit to fulfilling the promise of our nation, together.”

“Moments of crisis are also moments of opportunity,” said Philip Gaskin, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “We have witnessed firsthand communities demonstrating resilience and mutual support during this time of need. But, our communities need help. Now is the time for America to ensure that the best and boldest ideas for supporting entrepreneurship are inclusively discussed, debated, and acted on to level the playing field for all entrepreneurs.”

Among the policy demands detailed in the plan:

  • Creating universal access to affordable broadband technology so all Americans can access the internet;
  • Closing wealth gaps — particularly for Black and Latino families — with baby bonds;
  • Investing in Black-owned banks and CDFIs that have a stronger track record of creating pathways to homeownership and entrepreneurship for people of color; and
  • Ensuring that all Americans are equipped with real-world experiences and stronger workforce training to excel in current and future careers, as employees or entrepreneurs.

Click here to read the updated America’s New Business Plan.

“America has the opportunity to transform not just in response to the pandemic, but for the long-term by strengthening policies that address racial inequality, narrow the gap between rich and poor, and raise the economic status of historically marginalized communities,” Gaskin said.

Launched in 2019, America’s New Business Plan sets out to level the playing field and create equitable access to entrepreneurial opportunities for everyday Americans striving to launch new businesses.

Additionally, the Kauffman Foundation is announcing $3.5 million in funding to support efforts to bring about these policy changes in states and cities that will strengthen access to entrepreneurship for those who are underrepresented, according to the Start Us Up coalition.

Click here to read more about the “dual pandemics” facing the U.S.

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