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Commerce Department and Kauffman Foundation Launch Partnership to Promote Entrepreneurship

A new Web-based resource and a series of upcoming symposia are part of a public–private partnership designed to advance entrepreneurship and economic growth throughout the world.

by John Ward

Recent economic research has shown that countries that create political and economic infrastructures that foster entrepreneurial development are more likely to achieve higher growth rates. Those growing economies are also more likely to be fertile markets for U.S. goods and services.

With that information in mind, the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced on November 7, 2007, a new public–private partnership. The partnership will focus on leveraging the entrepreneurial leadership of the United States to advance economic growth domestically and around the world.

A Comprehensive Resource

The United States has long encouraged the key elements of entrepreneurship: business creation, innovation, and competition. In recent years, other countries have sought guidance on how they too can invigorate their economies through policies and programs that encourage the creation of high-growth businesses and thereby replicate U.S. success in entrepreneurial achievement.

One of the primary goals of the new partnership will be to assist those countries in developing the right policy environment that will allow entrepreneurs to organize and operate a business venture.

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The partnership will create a comprehensive Web-based resource to advance entrepreneurship. The site, which is accessible at, is designed to be a one-stop resource for domestic and international interest in the U.S. approach to entrepreneurship. It will include research, educational content, policy papers, and information about entrepreneurship events worldwide.

A series of overseas symposia in target markets is planned to further disseminate the information provided on the Web site. The goal of the symposia will be to empower grassroots groups of domestic entrepreneurs to develop policy recommendations for their local or national policy-makers that will increase their ability to form new enterprises, to create jobs, and to increase wealth. ITA plans to host its first symposium under this partnership in India in January 2008.

Expanding Markets Abroad

“Ultimately, the initiative will seek to promote economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship, thereby expanding markets for entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad and stimulating increased levels of productivity and standards of living in countries throughout the world,” said Carl Schramm, president and chief executive officer of the Kauffman Foundation.

The Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri, is a private, non-partisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in the United States and to improve the education of children and youth. Ewing Marion Kauffman, the late entrepreneur and philanthropist, established the Kauffman Foundation in the mid-1960s.

John Ward is a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. Cameron Cushman of the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit assisted with this report.