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Entrepreneurship and Small Business:Increase federal services to entrepreneurs and small businesses with an emphasis on 1) startups and growing firms and 2) underserved markets.

Goal Leader: Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

“[What] we want to do is to make sure that every single agency, even as they’re tending to their energy initiatives or providing homeland security or transportation or defense, that we’re also thinking about how are we’re advancing the cause of giving small businesses and entrepreneurs opportunities to start creating the next Google or the next Apple or the next innovative company that’s going to create jobs and improve our economy.”

--President Barack Obama, Cabinet meeting, January 31, 2012

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines of American innovation and our economic success, and President Obama is committed to helping them grow and prosper. Our nation’s small businesses employ over 60 million Americans, or half of the private sector workforce, and account for roughly 60 percent of gross job creation. Moreover, expanding enterprises less than 5 years old have been responsible for nearly all net job creation in the United States during the last 30 years, with a relatively small number of rapidly growing companies generating an outsized share of new jobs – in every industry and across the country.

Two of America’s greatest assets are the economic dynamism of our small businesses and the diversity of our entrepreneurs. To maximize our competitive advantage as a nation, we must ensure that, with hard work, American entrepreneurs have the opportunity to find the capital, training, and market access they need to start and grow their businesses. This vision of inclusive entrepreneurship is at the core of the President’s plan to create an economy built to last.

Across the Federal government, a range of diverse programs already serve the needs of startups and small businesses.  The White House Startup America initiative focuses on accelerating high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the Nation, and the White House report Moving America’s Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Forward describes the Administration’s full spectrum of efforts to promote small business success.  Through the Cross Agency Priority Goal, the Administration will work to better coordinate, streamline, and evaluate existing programs, as well as catalyze new efforts to improve support to our entrepreneurs and innovators. 

The action plan described below will better serve all of America’s small businesses and emphasize those measures that enable a greater diversity of entrepreneurs to start and grow companies faster.  For example, many innovative small firms with high growth potential can benefit from faster commercialization of federally funded research or more streamlined Federal procurement. At the same time, Federal agencies will measure their effectiveness in making these and other opportunities available to underrepresented entrepreneurs.

America’s entrepreneurial spirit is a beacon of opportunity and prosperity.  Last year, entrepreneurs in the United States were more optimistic about their job creation prospects than in any other advanced economy, with entrepreneurial activity on the rise across the country.  By focusing on a government-wide strategy to improve services for these job-creating firms, the Administration will help widen America’s lead as the most entrepreneurial and competitive country in the world.