On October 15, 2019, Start Us Up: America’s New Business Plan was born. Featuring 27 members from across the country, the small group of champions united behind a big, shared goal: reducing barriers to entrepreneurship for all Americans.
The first year saw steady progress. From federal reform of investor accreditation standards to state action around occupational licensing and noncompete agreements, several policy shifts reflected the very recommendations outlined in America’s New Business Plan.
The coalition, meanwhile, continues to balloon in size, now featuring 200 members representing 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Across the country, champions are delivering America’s New Business Plan to their federal, state, and local policymakers, urging them to center entrepreneurship in their policy agendas.
The leadership on display has been admirable, too. In Philadelphia, Mom Your Business is part of a task force working with the local Chamber of Commerce and mayor’s office to create new opportunities for Black businesses. In Missouri, BioSTL mobilized advocates, highlighting entrepreneur stories for members of the General Assembly ahead of 2021 budgeting.
Town halls and summits, from North Carolina to Colorado to Arizona, have contributed to an unprecedented groundswell of support for entrepreneurs — as well as an understanding of the policy change needed to unleash them.
In 2021, it’s our hope that more and more policymakers match the enthusiasm shared by our growing coalition — and that commitments to accessible and equitable entrepreneurship extend into city halls and capitols everywhere.
The needs of entrepreneurs are perhaps more pronounced than ever. When we unveiled America’s New Business Plan, we spoke of a decades-long startup slump, a deck stacked in favor of big corporations, inequitable access, and of the need to spur job creation amid a looming recession.
Though few could have foreseen every twist 2020 would offer, the forecast was accurate. After years of neglect, too many new and small businesses lacked the strong foundation needed to survive a moment of immense challenge.
And yet, from America’s smallest towns to its biggest cities, entrepreneurs are still fighting — for their businesses, for their livelihoods, and for their communities. Now more than ever, we have an obligation to match their resolve, and to continue our fight for them.
If your organization would like to support existing entrepreneurship advocacy efforts, either by elevating a common policy agenda or making use of advocacy resources, you may be a fit for Start Us Up. Apply to join the coalition today.