State of Entrepreneurship: Mixed Indicators Prompt Call for Entrepreneurial Renewal

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Kauffman Foundation’s annual address highlights uptick in venture investments even as business creation loses steam, analyzes potential of aging and rising generations to shape entrepreneurship

The United States doesn’t just need economic growth. We need economic renewal.

Venture capital and angel investing has surged, yet business creation remains slow, and access to capital is difficult for young companies. Despite these and other mixed indicators, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of entrepreneurship in the United States, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

At the Foundation’s sixth annual State of Entrepreneurship Address at the National Press Club in Washington today, Acting President and CEO Wendy Guillies called for economic renewal through a new entrepreneurial boom, beginning with two of the biggest demographic forces shaping the U.S. economy: the aging of baby boomers and the emergence of millennials into the workforce.

“The United States doesn’t just need economic growth. We need economic renewal,” said Guillies. “We’re optimistic that the boomers and millennials—together—can lead the entrepreneurship renewal that America sorely needs.”

Guillies cited data from a report also released today titled “The Future of Entrepreneurship: Millennials and Boomers Chart the Course for 2020.” The report notes that venture and angel investment levels in recent years mirror those of the late 1990s and very early 2000s, and that startup valuations have skyrocketed. At the same time, data show that U.S. business creation is trending downward. New firm survival rates have fallen for nearly 25 years, and high-growth firms are exhibiting less dynamism – a factor that could portend lower economic growth.

The event featured remarks from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, and experts who presented optimistic and pessimistic outlooks on the entrepreneurial potential for millennials and boomers to a panel of policymakers: U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (Colo.), John Delaney (Md.) and Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii).

Learn more about the event and the report.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

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