Every advocacy movement breaks down to individual
people, and you have to employ both top-down strategies and bottom-up grass roots strategies
at the same time to be successful. We were invited to come to be part of this
conversation about how policy and policy changes can help to cultivate and catalyze more entrepreneurship across America. You really can’t engage in this work of entrepreneurship
support without having an eye towards advocacy, policy, and building relationships. I see this as the new wave of economic development. We have at times, had silos between our entrepreneur
support activities over here and our policy activities over here. So how do we bring those together? How do we really put entrepreneurs at the
center? What we’re doing is bigger than all of us. This is not about the short-term wins. It’s more
about the long term wins and how do we change the trajectory for the next generation and
create that opportunity? We’re developing a community of practice around
advocacy toward entrepreneurship and reducing barriers of entrepreneurship and understanding
how we progress from awareness to a will to action among advocates and policymakers. It’s so important when you look at how entrepreneurship
cuts across all issues from healthcare, education, tax policy, all those things. It’s particularly important I think in rural
states, where there just isn’t the same level of concentration of capital and know how. On the practical side and the policy side
and especially when you talk about giving more access to entrepreneurs to underserved
communities, you’ve gotta look at it from the three M’s standpoint. Money, which is access to capital. Markets, helping people get new customers
and then management, right? Advocacy is about education. It’s about arming people with the facts so
they need to make an informed decision. Now is a real good moment because we are desperately
needing that inspiration and kind of that next level of economic development and wealth
building and upward mobility that people have been yearning for. It’s going to be entrepreneurs that provide
our next generation of job growth and income growth in this country.