Recapping America’s New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda

State of Entrepreneurship 2016

Recapping America’s New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda

Recently, the Kauffman Foundation held its annual State of Entrepreneurship Address at The National Press Club in Washington D.C. At the event, Kauffman CEO Wendy Guillies outlined the New Entrepreneurial Growth (NEG) Agenda on how to renew America’s economic growth.

The NEG Agenda embraces the current declining rate of entrepreneurship as an opportunity. The ability to see opportunity where others see problems is one of the characteristics entrepreneurs possess. Like entrepreneurs, the NEG Agenda sees opportunity for entrepreneur-led growth in the midst of our present startup deficit. We rely on entrepreneurs for job growth and innovation. As entrepreneurship goes, so goes the economy. In this context, the current economic and policy issues facing the country (from immigration to the changing nature of work to education and more) are deeply connected with entrepreneurship.

New Entrepreneurial Growth Policy Recommendations

Optimism for the future of entrepreneurship is coupled with key policy recommendations and highlighted in this short introduction to the NEG Agenda. The policy recommendations are:

  • Reduce the opportunity cost of entrepreneurial experimentation
  • Increase the labor market supply and velocity
  • Collect and publish more data on entrepreneurship
  • Resolve long-term federal budget challenges
  • Adapt existing regulations for the new economy
  • Enhance the global exchange of ideas and resources
  • Preserve entrepreneurial entry and competition by decreasing incumbent bias

State of Entrepreneurship Event

After CEO Wendy Guillies presented the 2016 State of Entrepreneurship Address, opening remarks were made by U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, Steve Chabot. Representative Chabot focused on empowering entrepreneurs with tax and regulatory reform. Following these remarks, Bloomberg View columnist Paula Dwyer moderated research and policy panels, and she adroitly directed the conversation with insightful questions throughout the event.

Research Panel

Rajshree Agarwal, David Bodde, and Elisabeth Jacobs provided their views on a variety of scenarios including immigration policy, the gig economy, economic mobility, inequality, globalization, and student debt. There was some debate in the panel about which policy solutions were most appropriate – especially regarding mobility and inequality. This dynamic discussion can be found here.

Policy Panel

The policy discussion by two former elected officials and now senior fellows at the Bipartisan Policy Center, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett and Secretary Dan Glickman provided an open and honest look into the political realities of implementing policy change. Included in this discussion was a focus on the importance of investment in infrastructure and appreciating the sheer speed of the the technological revolution (video here at 47:50).    

The Agenda

Forty researchers, academics, policy experts, and other thought leaders contributed essays that comprise the NEG Agenda. You can read the full New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda here, but below are the eight sections in which the essays are organized.

The State of Entrepreneurship event is over, but the conversation is just starting.

Learn more at


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derek ozkal

Derek Ozkal

Derek Ozkal is a program officer in Research and Policy for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he assists with writing and analysis of various Research & Policy initiatives and administers grants, which includes managing and overseeing assigned grant portfolios, monitoring grantee performance, and reviewing grant proposals.