A 2018 Kauffman Foundation and Global Strategy Group national survey study revealed that one of the biggest advantages for an entrepreneur with a new idea or business is getting support from skilled professionals, such as through strong networks, cooperative platforms, co-working hubs, and high quality incubators and accelerators.
Therefore, the Start Us Up Coalition has recommended that the government support the growth and development of those methods and others to connect entrepreneurs with helpful people and tools.
This Atlas entry contains excerpts from the following resource:
- Start Us Up Coalition (2019), America's New Business Plan, www.startusupnow.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2019/10/Kauffman_AmericasNewBusinessPlanWhitepaper_October2019.pdf.
- Competitive grants: Develop competitive grants to modernize the 63 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and more than 900 service locations, with a focus on facilitated learning through connections and peer support in entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- Pay-for-success models: Create pay-for-success models that provide federal support to organizations that serve entrepreneurs when certain agreed-upon benchmarks are met, such as the number of new businesses created, ease of accessing appropriate capital, increased revenues, new jobs created and sustained, and underserved areas and populations reached.
As an example, this approach has been implemented by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) via its Build to Scale (B2S) Grants Program (previously known as Regional Innovation Strategies program).
This set of recommendations is part of the "knowledge" pillar of America's New Business Plan (ANBP). This pillar addresses barriers related to know-how to start a business, given that entrepreneurs often report that some of their biggest challenges are practical, such as knowing how to start, operate, and grow a business.
Because many entrepreneurs were not taught the skills needed to successfully launch a business during their formal education and training, they learn as they go, seeking support from other business owners and organizations that offer coaching. This is why America's New Business Plan calls for policymakers to help by supporting policies that connect entrepreneurs to those who can show them the ropes and programs that teach entrepreneurs the skills needed to successfully launch a business.
In addition to developing inclusive entrepreneur support mechanisms, other policy recommendations to address knowledge gaps are: