The Kauffman Foundation works to create supportive communities for entrepreneurs to make an idea a reality by empowering entrepreneurs everywhere as agents of progress. The strategy, including convenings such as the ESHIP Summit and the Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, will build a new model of economic development by pioneering the principles, culture, tools, and metrics of successful entrepreneurial communities.

Eship Learning Journey 2018 with the Kauffman Foundation, Story Up, virtual reality storytelling, VR entrepreneurship

The road to understanding

The real-life stories of the day-to-day issues entrepreneurs face are most vividly told in the offices, workshops, and garages where they work, and the Kauffman Foundation is venturing out to hear them.

Fog video still

Navigating the fog

A new role - the ecosystem builder - is emerging in communities across the country to help entrepreneurs in a more deliberate way.

ESHIP Summit 2018

The economy needs ecosystem builders

Entrepreneurs may be the heroes of the economy, but their successes rely heavily on the people who work to make entrepreneurship thrive.


ESHIP Communities

The ESHIP Communities program is a bottom-up approach to building entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster inclusion, relationships, collaboration, and social capital across networks of entrepreneurs and those who support them. This work supports the creation and evaluation of a repeatable approach by testing key aspects of the framework in Kansas City, Missouri; central New Mexico; Baltimore; and Long Beach, California. Learnings from the initial programs will help refine the approach in subsequent cities.

ESHIP Communities

The ESHIP Summit

The ESHIP Summit is a convening of leaders from across the United States and beyond seeking to support entrepreneurs, build ecosystems, and change our economy. The summit connects entrepreneurial ecosystem builders working to empower the makers, doers, and dreamers of our society.

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The Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship

The Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship brings together mayors and entrepreneurs to discuss ways to promote startup activity in their cities. Mayors and entrepreneurs collaborate and align their objectives, creating a new national community where the most difficult problems are addressed using the best aspects of public and private approaches.

Learnings from 2018

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world's largest celebration of innovations and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW empowers roughly 25 million people through more than 25,000 activities, and is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of 10,000 partner organizations.

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