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Funding is often given the spotlight when framing the uneven playing field that exists for entrepreneurs today. And while addressing racial disparities in funding must remain a top priority for policymakers, other hurdles exist to building a more inclusive economy.
The Knowledge pillar of America’s New Business Plan brings focus to an oft-overlooked, yet extremely important array of challenges for the many entrepreneurs who were not taught the skills needed to successfully launch and grow a business during their formal education and training. These aspiring business owners are left to learn as they go — seeking support from other entrepreneurs and organizations that offer coaching. The challenge is often most significant for entrepreneurs of color; surveys show that about a quarter of Black and Latino entrepreneurs have one or fewer business owners in their network.
And as new business applications surge, the need has never been greater to marry entrepreneurial energy with the right guidance and resources.
We encourage you to view and share our Access to Knowledge guide, so we can help deliver on the promise and potential of all entrepreneurs.
Congressional Startup Day was held on August 18, as members of Congress engaged with entrepreneurs in their communities to learn about the unique challenges and needs facing businesses today. Engine, the driving force behind Congressional Startup Day, covered the festivities, writing “to be a champion for entrepreneurs, policymakers must listen to them.” READ MORE | VIEW THE ADVOCACY GUIDE
POLICY SPOTLIGHT: Real World Learning
Research has shown that entrepreneurial education and training in kindergarten through college is linked to positive business outcomes. The U.S. has an opportunity to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs by integrating skills essential to entrepreneurship into education — a step that will ensure a prepared workforce.
America’s New Business Plan recommends providing students with real world learning experiences and industry-recognized credentials to make primary education more valuable and applicable to the modern economy. In Kansas City, this recommendation exists as a full-fledged initiative called Real World Learning.
“One of the things that makes Real World Learning unique is that it’s not just looking at creating cogs in a wheel,” KC Rising director Sheri Gonzales said on a recent coalition call. “It’s looking at helping to create people who are able to innovate, have capacity to create, and an ownership mentality. It has in there an entrepreneurship experience that is different than just work-based, and it also has equity at the center, which means that we believe that with intentionality, we can unlock potential wherever it lives.”
Read more at our blog, and visit the ANBP recommendation for concrete steps.