Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, delivered the "2010 State of Entrepreneurship Address" on January 19, 2010, on the heels of alarming unemployment numbers and citing sobering new data that show a majority of American entrepreneurs do not expect to create jobs in 2010. He called on policymakers to make this cornerstone of American capitalism a priority.
During an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that included perspectives from entrepreneurs and remarks from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Schramm underscored the importance of entrepreneurs to economic recovery, emphasizing that hundreds of new companies are being created each day.
Schramm also unveiled a new survey of entrepreneurs, commissioned by the Kauffman Foundation and conducted by Douglas Schoen, LLC that shows entrepreneurs are optimistic about their companies but are struggling to expand and create jobs in the current economy.
The State Of Entrepreneurship Address, by Carl J. Schramm, President and CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
We are meeting here today at a grave moment in our national economic life. The recession that began just over two years ago has taken a horrific toll on this country. Despite so-called “green shoots” that economists claim to see sprouting up around every corner, the recession continues to be all too real for fifteen million unemployed Americans, a number that worsened last month despite this incipient recovery. While there is no magic solution to this, I want to talk today about a possible answer.
Now, in the time it took for me to say those few sentences, one new company was founded in the United States, creating four new jobs. By the time I finish this speech, twenty new firms will have been started, creating roughly eighty new jobs. This is the hope and power of entrepreneurship—and while entrepreneurs are not the sought-after silver bullet, economic recovery will not happen without them.
I approach this as an economist, a class of thinkers now notorious for their failure to foresee the financial crisis and recession, yet insistent on their ability to bring us out of it. But I also stand here as the president of a foundation, whose donor, Ewing Kauffman, appreciated the contributions entrepreneurs make to our economy and society.
Read the entire transcript of the State Of Entrepreneurship Address
State of Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion
"If you want to solve a problem, you have to go to the source. The investment in small companies that are transferring ideas … into commercial entities which create jobs (and) speak to need that people have, that's the way to stimulate the economy."
-- Frank L. Douglas, president and CEO, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
Read more comments from the panel discussion