As part of the Ecosystems Couch Conference hosted by TNW and the Financial Times, GEN Policy offered a Policy Dialogue on "How to Design a New Business Plan for the Economy" with guest speaker Jason Wiens of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Start Us Up Coalition in the United States.
The United States has been experiencing a persistent period of entrepreneurship stagnation. For the past 20 years, the rate of new entrepreneurs has essentially been flat. This worrisome reality has been compounded by an imbalance of in policymaking, where elected officials often misguidedly prioritize big business over new business, despite the fact that new businesses are responsible for nearly all net new job creation in the country.
So just a couple of months before the crisis, the Start Us Up coalition launched America’s New Business Plan, a bipartisan roadmap for policymakers to support new jobs and help level the playing the field for startups and small businesses.
The COVID-19 crisis has catalyzed the path towards the coalition’s mission: "Increase policymakers’ understanding and awareness of entrepreneurship", explained Jason.
To successfully turn a policy document into tool for action and change, however, the principles which underlie the document and drive the coalition’s mission have been key, such as reflecting input from entrepreneurs across the United States. Jason explained how the months-long process to gather first-hand input was necessary to achieve a policy document which:
- Is for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.
- Addresses all levels of government in the United States: federal, state and local.
- Highlights entrepreneurs’ needs which are currently unmet on different fronts: opportunity, funding, knowledge and support.