The spirit of entrepreneurship was alive and well at last week's Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. The White House took a political risk in hosting a summit on "global" entrepreneurship in a climate when so many Americans, anxious about their local economy, are easily blinded to the vital role entrepreneurs play in building the stable economies overseas essential to our growing firms back home. The summit though was a foreign policy success and a solid statement of support for the role all entrepreneurs play in creating jobs and economic growth.
Entrepreneurs have led the way to recovery from previous economic downturns by seeding new ideas and creating firms. For example, in the U.S., more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market. The convening of the Summit and the array of announcements was therefore welcome news, and suggest that the world’s risk takers and innovative entrepreneurs are perhaps no longer thought of as mere adjunct players on the sidelines of our economies but central to their recovery.
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Author: Jonathan Ortmans is president of the Public Forum Institute, a non-partisan organization dedicated to fostering dialogue on important policy issues. In this capacity, he leads the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship, focused on public policies to promote entrepreneurship in the U.S. and around the world. In addition, he serves as a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation.