This spring, the Kauffman Foundation—along with cosponsors the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration; The Public Forum Institute; and The Gulf Coast Urban Entrepreneur Partnership—convened a conference to discuss the role of entrepreneurship in the recovery of the Gulf Coast.
Read proceedings on
SBA site (PDF)
Here is the forward of the proceedings from that event:
We are pleased to present these proceedings of the April 11 conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Entrepreneurship: The Foundation for Economic Renewal in the Gulf Coast Region. The conference was an effort to discern the most effective ways to engage entrepreneurs in rebuilding the region devastated by the hurricanes of August-September 2005—Katrina and Rita. The conference engaged people from many disciplines—universities, government at all levels, nonprofits, business organizations, and owners of small and large businesses.
The devastation conference participants witnessed was daunting—not only the physical devastation, but the many uncertainties that followed for businesses—uncertainties related first to the rescue and safe evacuation of owners and their employees, then to levees, housing, insurance, financing, suppliers, customers—nearly every aspect of business ownership. Despite all that, the strong theme that emerged throughout the conference was hope for the future—and especially “opportunity.”
As many conference speakers observed, the final chapter of this story will be told by the entrepreneurs— those who think creatively and outside of the box. The innovative spirit of the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama will determine the region’s future.
It was a great spirit that we saw in the Gulf Coast region, judging by the impressive group of people who assembled. There are many capable partners for its rebuilding. We hope these proceedings can contribute further to renewing the entrepreneurial spirit that will create, out of the devastation of the Gulf Coast, an even greater place to live and work.