Kauffman Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing on Trends in Entrepreneurship

Economic competitiveness.

Dynamism.

Job creation.

Those three topics were top of mind during a recent congressional briefing the Kauffman Foundation hosted on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Jerry Moran (KS) and Sen. Chris Coons (DE) of the Senate Competitiveness Caucus joined John Haltiwanger, a University of Maryland professor of economics with expertise in new business dynamics, for a discussion of trends in entrepreneurship and how to boost the American economy.

Senator Moran speaking at the event. Photo courtesy of the Office of Senator Moran, U.S. Senate.

As highlighted in Kauffman’s 2014 State of Entrepreneurship, new business creation has not kept pace with the growth of the working age population. A “startup deficit” is afflicting the economy. The symptoms of this decline — including stalled labor force participation, low productivity growth, and wage stagnation — threaten our competitive advantage. 

In his remarks, Sen. Coons outlined three policy solutions he proposes to assist entrepreneurs.

  1. Make the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit accessible to early-stage startups who typically cannot access the tax credit because they are in the pre-profitability stage.
  2. Strengthen the engagement between universities and the manufacturing sector through an award grant. The proposal will help the significant number of early-stage startups that often struggle to access the high-skilled, highly effective intervention of recent university graduates to advance the cutting edge manufacturing skills.
  3. Establish a pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs through a startup visa.

At the briefing, John Haltiwanger shared his research about the contributions of young, small business firms. He highlighted that most startups do not become high-growth firms with many employees. However, new businesses still account for nearly all net new job creation. Check out his presentation below:

The Kauffman Foundation plans to hold two more congressional briefings in the coming months that examine further research and related policy approaches to strengthening entrepreneurship.

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