Skip to content

Meet the America’s New Business Plan RFP grantees

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation funded nine entrepreneurship advocates to inform local, regional, and national policy debates with the voices of entrepreneurs.

Giving America’s can-do spirit a place in policymaking

America's New Business Plan
America’s New Business Plan is a four-part bipartisan policy plan for policymakers, generating support for policies that reduce barriers to new business creation. Learn more at StartUsUpNow.org >

Entrepreneurs are underrepresented in policy debates. Whether attributable to a lack of financial resources to advocate, a lack of time, a pessimistic view of politics, or some combination of factors, this underrepresentation has left policymakers without a proper understanding of the unique needs and challenges associated with entrepreneurship. Without information about entrepreneurship and new ideas for helping entrepreneurs, policymakers will continue to lack an important perspective.

The Kauffman Foundation has selected nine organizations that have a strong focus on entrepreneurship and advocacy as grant recipients of the America’s New Business Plan RFP. This portfolio of grantees was formed to support projects that increase awareness of America’s New Business Plan [PDF], a four-part bipartisan policy plan for policymakers, and generate support for policies that reduce barriers to new business creation.

The grants in this portfolio will bring new ideas and new voices to policy debates so that entrepreneurship is no longer an afterthought.

Jason Wiens, Policy Director, Kauffman Foundation

As members of the America’s New Business Plan RFP grant portfolio, the organizations will increase policymakers’ understanding of entrepreneurship and the barriers to new business creation to lay the groundwork for action, and encourage entrepreneur voices to inform policy debates so policymakers are more likely to understand the needs of entrepreneurs.

“Too often and for too long, America’s policymakers have misguidedly prioritized big business over new business,” said Jason Wiens, policy director at the Kauffman Foundation. “The grants in this portfolio will bring new ideas and new voices to policy debates so that entrepreneurship is no longer an afterthought. Together, they will level the playing field so that anyone with an idea has access to the opportunity, funding, knowledge, and support to turn it into a reality.”

To select the grant recipients, the Kauffman Foundation solicited proposals nationwide from nonprofit organizations that have prior experience engaging in public policy.

Meet the nine organizations whose projects will be funded:

  • Coastal Enterprises, Inc.: Development of content and activities designed to educate policymakers about the barriers to entrepreneurship in Maine; including the publication of eight entrepreneur stories, the creation of a women entrepreneurs’ policy advocate club, and the hosting of an Entrepreneur Day at the state legislature.
  • Federation of American Scientists: Expand the organization’s Day One Project to generate eight actionable federal policy proposals and implementation guidance related to each of the four pillars of America’s New Business Plan: opportunity, funding, knowledge, and support.
  • Institute for Justice: Content production and the creation of messaging tools to educate federal, state, and local policymakers on the barriers created by occupational licensing requirements. 
  • National Foundation for American Policy: Create and disseminate educational content and policy recommendations to federal policymakers that is designed to shed light on and lower the barriers foreign-born entrepreneurs face in starting a business.
  • Prosperity Now: Analyze, identify, and equip advocates with the policies contained in America’s New Business Plan that have the potential to reduce racial wealth disparities.
  • Rural Economic Development Center, Inc.: Convene a task force to develop policy proposals that support North Carolina entrepreneurs and then engage entrepreneurs in educating state policymakers.
  • Small Business Majority: Advance advocacy efforts targeted at state and federal policymakers in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin to increase responsible capital access and strengthen safety net services to enable more Americans to take the risk of becoming an entrepreneur.
  • State Science & Technology Institute: Increase state and federal government support for entrepreneurship by facilitating a series of entrepreneur-policymaker educational opportunities.
  • Telluride Foundation: Creation and piloting of an advocacy training program for rural entrepreneurs to spur the education of state and federal Colorado policymakers on the barriers to entrepreneurship.

The America’s New Business Plan RFP is an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation in support of America’s New Business Plan. Along with Start Us Up, a coalition of more than 160 organizations working to elevate the importance of entrepreneurship in America, the efforts seek to put the ambitions and can-do spirit of everyday Americans first in order to ensure anyone with an idea has access to the opportunity, funding, knowledge, and support to turn it into a reality.