The United States is a nation built by entrepreneurs. The American experiment itself is a profoundly entrepreneurial undertaking, grounded in the frontier spirit of freedom, adventure, self-reliance, and values of individualism, opportunity, and enterprise. Entrepreneurs, past and present, are woven into the fabric of our economic and popular culture. Most importantly, entrepreneurship powers the American economy – driving innovation, economic growth, job creation, and opportunity.
What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is central to the American identity. But what is entrepreneurship exactly? Despite widespread interest in the topic and a broad recognition of its importance, there remains a lack of consensus about how to specifically define entrepreneurship.
After remaining remarkably consistent for decades, the number of new businesses launched in the United States peaked in 2006 and then began a precipitous decline – a decline accelerated by the Great Recession.
Because of the unique role they play in our economy with regard to innovation, economic growth, and job creation – and because of their inherent fragility as new businesses – startups have unique vulnerabilities and policy needs.