Top actions for entrepreneurs to move forward
Obama administration releases helpful list
America’s entrepreneurial economy is the envy of the world. Young companies account for almost 30 percent of new jobs and, as the nation fought back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, startups have helped the U.S. private sector create 15.5 million jobs since early 2010 — the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record.
In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month, the Obama Administration has released a Top 10 list of the president’s most significant actions to promote American entrepreneurship.
The president launched Startup America in 2011, a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.
American startup activity is rebounding and growing more inclusive of historically underrepresented groups and regions. Studies indicate that:
• Reversing a downward cycle that began during the Great Recession, U.S. startup activity ascended last year, representing the largest year-over-year increase in the last two decades, while measures of startup revenue and employment growth have rebounded across industries as well.
• New companies created 889,000 jobs in the final quarter of 2015 — the highest job creation number since 2008.
• Rates of entrepreneurship have increased for Latinos, African Americans, and immigrants between 1996 and 2015.
• Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms is estimated to have grown at a rate five times the national average, including a more than doubling of the number of firms owned by African American women and Latinas.
• American startups are not only rebounding, they are taking root in more communities all across the country—for example, the share of U.S. metro areas that attracted early stage venture capital has increased by around 50 percent since 2009.
The number of U.S. startup accelerator programs increased from fewer than 30 in 2009 to over 170 in 2015, providing mentorship and early funding to thousands of startups across 35 states plus D.C. and 54 metro areas.
• Access to capital for high-growth entrepreneurs has improved significantly since 2009, with venture capital investment up an estimated 200 percent, far exceeding its pre-recession peak, and angel investment up 40 percent, approaching its pre-recession peak.
• Compared with 137 countries, the U.S. continues to top the rankings in the Global Entrepreneurship Index, with the world’s most favorable conditions for entrepreneurs to start and scale new companies.
The Affordable Care Act is making it easier for entrepreneurs to buy health insurance; the Pay As You Earn program is making it easier for entrepreneurs to pay off student loan debt; the Open Data Initiative has unlocked more than 200,000 government datasets as raw material for entrepreneurial innovation; ConnectED and ConnectALL are allowing aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere to access high-speed broadband, while a strong net neutrality policy ensures a free and open internet; and the president signed into law the largest annual increase in research and development funding in America’s history.
Breaking down barriers for all entrepreneurs is not the task of just one administration. For example, studies suggest that the share of venture-funded startups with women founders has nearly doubled in five years — but it is still only 18 percent.
The administration is also announcing new private-sector actions to promote inclusive entrepreneurship.
At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit this past summer, senior leadership from 33 companies of all sizes pledged to fuel American innovation and economic growth by increasing the diversity of their technology workforce. Today, 46 additional companies, including Xerox, TaskRabbit, and Techstars, are joining this Tech Inclusion Pledge,.
ï Early-stage investors are making a new commitment to promote inclusive entrepreneurship. Today, more than 30 investment firms, angel investor groups, and startup accelerators with over $800 million under management have committed to actively mentor entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. For example, MassMutual Foundation and Valley Venture Mentors are partnering to create a scalable model for rural startup accelerators, while Pipeline Angels is bringing its training programs for underrepresented investors to 20 additional cities.
TOP 10 ACTIONS TO
1. Signed permanent tax incentives for startup investment.
2. Accelerated the transition of research discoveries from lab to market.
3. The administration’s Startup in a Day initiative is cutting red tape to make it easier for more entrepreneurs to get started and grow their businesses.
4. Expanded regional entrepreneurship opportunities through federal investment in high-growth entrepreneurship in communities across the country.
5. Directly boosted entrepreneurs’ access to capital through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).
6. Prioritized inclusive entrepreneurship. As part of the first-ever White House Demo Day in August 2015, 40 leading venture-capital firms with more than $100 billion under management committed to advance opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities, and more than a dozen major technology companies committed to new actions to ensure diverse recruitment and hiring.
7. Created opportunities for promising entrepreneurs and innovators from abroad.
8. Updated securities laws for high-growth companies. Thanks to the bipartisan Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act signed by the President in 2012, entrepreneurs have greater access to capital from the seed stage all the way to an initial public offering (IPO).
9. Made the U.S. patent system more efficient and responsive to innovators.
10. Unleashed entrepreneurship in the industries of the future. Entrepreneurs in clean energy, medicine, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and other innovative fields will build the new industries of the 21st century, and solve some of our toughest global challenges.