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Using Your Voice: Entrepreneur Advocacy Series

Join the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and fellow entrepreneurship supporters for a series of monthly virtual trainings that will prepare participants to be effective advocates at all levels of government and at any time.

Entrepreneurs’ underrepresentation in policy debates has left policymakers without an understanding of the unique needs and challenges associated with entrepreneurship. Barriers that make it difficult for entrepreneurs to succeed persist as a result.

Without information about entrepreneurship and an active entrepreneur constituency, policymakers will continue to neglect the innovators and job creators in our country.

For the past three years, the Kauffman Foundation has hosted Entrepreneur Advocacy Day, where participants attended advocacy trainings and met with federal policymakers on Capitol Hill to discuss key issues surrounding entrepreneurship.

This year, we are excited to host a series of virtual training sessions for entrepreneurs and leaders of entrepreneur support organizations. These trainings will equip participants with the skills needed to schedule and have effective meetings with policymakers.

entrepreneurship advocacy

Entrepreneurship advocacy

All participants will be required to attend five training sessions, which will be approximately 90 minutes each. Between September 20 and October 13, we will encourage participants to schedule meetings with policymakers to discuss challenges to entrepreneurship and what government can do to reduce barriers. These meetings will give participants a chance to implement what they have learned in the first three trainings. The final two trainings will provide an opportunity to learn additional follow-up skills for maintaining relationships with the policymakers they met.

Please ensure before applying that you are able to commit to the time required. Once the dates of our training sessions are finalized if you have a prior commitment, please let us know as soon as possible. We will record all training sessions and can share a link to them on an individual basis.

To apply to participate in Using Your Voice: Entrepreneur Advocacy Series, please fill out this form. Applications to participate will close on 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 14, 2021. Applicants will be notified by mid-May if they have been selected to participate.


Schedule/Agenda

Here’s a simplified agenda of what you can expect (dates are not finalized and may change):

Thursday, 7/15

Virtual Training #1:
Reintroducing Advocacy

Monday, 8/16

Virtual Training #2:
How to Craft Your Message & Tell Effective Stories

Wednesday, 9/15

Virtual Training #3:
Before, During, and After Meetings with Policymakers

Thursday, 9/16 thru Wednesday, 10/13

Meetings with Policymakers

Thursday, 10/14

#MediaAdvocacy – Media Training

Monday, 11/15

Policy Champions: Cultivating Relationships and Finding Allies


FAQs

Will the Kauffman Foundation schedule meetings on my behalf with policymakers?

No. The goal of our trainings is to equip participants with the tools they need to schedule and facilitate their own meetings at their own convenience. 

I have participated in previous Entrepreneur Advocacy Days sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, should I participate in this year’s trainings?

If you believe you would find value in additional advocacy training, we encourage you to apply. We are hopeful that within each training we will be able to provide both beginner and advanced curriculum that will be valuable to participants with varying levels of advocacy experience.

Is prior advocacy experience required to participate?

No prior advocacy experience is required to apply to attend these trainings. We ask in the application to rate your level of experience in advocacy to get a sense of our participants’ backgrounds so we can best craft our curriculum.

Can I encourage someone else to apply?

Yes! If you know someone who is an entrepreneur or works for an entrepreneur support organization who you think would benefit from these trainings, feel free to forward them a link to this page. We encourage all potential participants to thoroughly review the schedule listed above to ensure full participation.

Who are the trainings for?

The trainings are designed for entrepreneurs and leaders of organizations that provide direct services to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur support organizations can be accelerators, business incubators, coworking spaces, nonprofits that support entrepreneurship, and those whose job is to help current or aspiring entrepreneurs move closer to starting or growing a viable business.

What policymakers will participants meet with?

Participants will be able to schedule meetings with federal, state, and/or local policymakers.

Who can I email if I have questions?

For additional questions, please fill out the form below. We will be in touch shortly.

*Please note: Completing this form does not register you for the series. If you’re interested in attending Using Your Voice: Entrepreneur Advocacy Series, please fill out our form here.