Start Us Up Start Us Up logo

Frequently Asked Questions

What is America’s New Business Plan?

America’s New Business Plan is a bipartisan policy roadmap to support entrepreneurs, with recommendations for federal, state, and local government. The plan was developed to provide policymakers with research-informed solutions to overcoming the problems faced by entrepreneurs that prohibit them from starting and growing their business. Recommendations are broken into four pillars:

  • Access to Opportunity: A Level Playing Field Without Red Tape
  • Access to Funding: The Right Kind of Capital Everywhere
  • Access to Knowledge: The Know-How to Start a Business
  • Access to Support: The Ability for All to Take Risks

What are the problems that America’s New Business Plan aims to address?

America is facing dual pandemics of both COVID-19 and racial injustice, making inequities of race, gender, and geography even more visible. These dual pandemics have played out against the backdrop of an unequal American economy. Since the Great Recession, only the top 20% richest Americans gained wealth, while 80% of families fell behind.

Collectively, these symptoms of inequity are part of a broader pathology in which systemic barriers create a fundamental imbalance between those with privilege and those with uneven access to opportunities. This imbalance is pronounced for America’s entrepreneurs, who face an increasingly difficult path to turn their ideas into reality. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of new entrepreneurs had essentially been flat for 20 years.

What is the goal of America’s New Business Plan?

America’s New Business Plan exists as a roadmap to show policymakers what specific steps they can take to strengthen entrepreneurship in their communities today. Though the plan contains several recommendations across all four pillars, it is not intended to be viewed as a single package. The goal is that any policymaker, regardless of political affiliation or jurisdiction, is able to identify recommendations they find applicable and use them to support new and small businesses in their areas.

How were the recommendations selected in America’s New Business Plan?

America’s New Business Plan was a collaborative effort that reflects inputs from researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs themselves.

What is Start Us Up?

Start Us Up is a diverse coalition of groups and organizations working to level the playing field for entrepreneurs in America. The coalition spans the entire nation and includes entrepreneurship support organizations, nonprofits, university centers, and more.

Who can join the Start Us Up coalition?

Organizations, nonprofits, and other groups whose work supports new business ownership and growth are encouraged to apply to join the Start Us Up coalition. Coalition members may operate at the local, state, or national levels.

What efforts has the coalition undertaken?

Coalition members are identifying the components of America’s New Business Plan that have the greatest potential for entrepreneurs in their areas and working to educate policymakers on the need to take action. Members have hosted hearings and events across the country and have worked with policymakers to support new and small businesses.

Is this effort partisan?

Start Us Up is nonpartisan. America’s New Business Plan is intended to be a bipartisan document with recommendations that appeal to policymakers across the political spectrum.

Who is leading this effort?

Start Us Up: America’s New Business Plan was formally launched by the Kansas-City based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, but the initiative was designed so others could tailor it to their organization or community’s own needs. An extensive team of entrepreneurs and policymakers was consulted to draft the recommendations, and the coalition has grown to more than 150 champions, all of whom are working to advance entrepreneurship in their regions.

What can I do to help?

Policymakers and staff are encouraged to read America’s New Business Plan [PDF] and identify new opportunities to support entrepreneurs in their jurisdictions.

Organizations are encouraged to apply to join the Start Us Up coalition, where they will have access to resources that help them engage policymakers and inspire change in their communities.

Individuals are encouraged to sign up for our newsletter and follow Start Us Up on social media. The coalition will often engage grassroots champions, because the greater our support, the stronger our voice will be.

Contact Us

Questions about America’s New Business Plan, the Start Us Up coalition, or what you can do to get involved?

For general inquiries, fill out the form below.