Obama Launches $2bil Startup Fund, Ed Entrepreneurs Included

The White House is set to launch administrative and private sector actions that will help stimulate entrepreneurship and create jobs by increasing their access to capital and resources, including within the education sector.

Along with the Startup America Policy Challenge, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is to launch a $1 billion Early Stage Innovation Fund, which will provide matching capital to Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs).

The White House will also host the first board meeting of the Startup America Partnership, where board members will announce commitments to deliver over $1 billion worth of free software to free consulting and legal services to 100,000 startups over the next three years.

President Obama said:

"Today, we're announcing $2 billion in public and private resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Now it's time for Congress to do its part. It was encouraging to see members of both parties in the House come together to pass legislation that will help small businesses get ahead, and I'm calling on the Senate to do the same. But America's small businesses can't wait for these important tools to grow and hire faster."

As part of the Startup America Policy Challenge, online platforms will be used to ask entrepreneurs and the public how to stimulate innovation in three industries: healthcare, clean energy, and education. The best ideas sourced will then go into "Policy Business Plans," that will be shared with relevant Cabinet Secretaries from the Depts. of Health and Human Services, Energy, and Education.

The Department of Education and the Department of Labor are set to collaborate on the development of a youth entrepreneurship agenda that infuses entrepreneurship education into a range of existing programs involving K-12 education, career and technical education, community colleges, universities, and low-income youth.

A new National Education Startup Challenge is also set to be launched – setting educational problems to middle school, high school, and college students, inviting them to develop innovative solutions and create a business plan for a new company or non-profit organization to deliver that solution.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is to expand and develop a first-class entrepreneurship education for at-risk high school students from low-income communities.

As part of their commitment to Startup America earlier in the year, the NFTE have also launched Connect, in collaboration with the Pearson Foundation. Connect is a free online community for teacher collaboration and training focused on entrepreneurship education, fulfilling a commitment made at the launch of Startup America earlier this year.

The Connect community is open to all educators who want to infuse entrepreneurship education best practices into their classroom, with a goal of at least 5,000 registered educators in the next 24 months, says a press release.

12 13, 2011
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