Jean, this is fantastic. You deliver a powerful argument for the capacity of women and minorities to build successful businesses. That’s exciting. And I love the way that #FacesofFounders gives voices to the “unsung heroes” of the entrepreneurial world.
We agree that barriers remain, and it’s costing us millions of jobs. Why are women half as likely as men to own employer businesses, costing the U.S. 1.7 million additional businesses? What is preventing minorities from starting businesses at the same rate as non-minorities, which costs us more than 1 million employer businesses and as much as 9.5 million additional jobs in the U.S.?
We know some of the barriers, but acknowledging them is not enough.
Closing the entrepreneurship demographic gap is a major priority for us at the Kauffman Foundation. We started tackling this last year when we awarded $4.3 million to national organizations trying new ways to address systemic gaps for women and minority entrepreneurs.
And thanks for the shout-out about our Zero Barriers to Startup campaign. It’s a nationwide effort to identify and remove the barriers that get in the way of entrepreneurs. We’re calling for everyone — including entrepreneurs and everyone who fights for entrepreneurs — to participate. As our founder Mr. Kauffman believed, there is nothing we can’t accomplish by working together.