Energizing Entrepreneurship in All Communities

New and young businesses create nearly all job growth in America. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that entrepreneurship is a civic priority in every community. That’s the mission of Right to Start, the national nonprofit organization whose field operations I lead. Those field operations focus primarily on a growing network of 25 volunteer Ambassadors in 19 states and the District of Columbia and 14 part-time Advocates in 10 states. Together, we share insights into barriers that obstruct entrepreneurship, design efforts to remove them, and pursue related policy change.  Two of our Ambassadors are Trey Bowles (Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth) and Cameron Cushman (HSC Next), who provide crucial insights from their work in Fort Worth and discussions with entrepreneurs far more broadly. We are excited to be working with them and their respective organizations in our shared commitment to entrepreneurship.   

One of the great advantages of our advocacy work is that it generates broad bipartisan support because entrepreneurship is a concept that resonates with Americans regardless of political affiliation. 

Right to Start conducted a recent bipartisan survey of American voters. The results underscored that, even amid the nation’s partisan divide, American voters almost unanimously agree that “it is important to America’s future that citizens have a fair opportunity to start and grow their own business”: 94% agree, 2% disagree, and 4% are not sure. That near-unanimity crosses party lines—with 95% of Republicans, 95% of Independents, and 92% of Democrats agreeing.  

It’s clear: Americans want a level playing field for aspiring business starters.  

As Right to Start works to engage Americans in pursuing that level playing field together, we have recently developed and launched a brief Statement of Principles that we are asking individuals and organizations all across America to sign. It’s brand new and just getting started, but already nearly 50 organizations and more than 100 individuals have signed it. Many more are on the way. 

We hope that you’ll read our Statement of Principles, sign it, and share it with your networks over email and social media. This Google Drive has sample shares and images that you can use. 

I am often asked, in response to our mission, “How can I help?” Signing and circulating this Statement of Principles is an easy way. Please join us in this effort. It will benefit every community in America by making it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. 

About the Author

Catherine Read is Director of Field and Campaign Strategy for Right to Start, the national nonprofit organization championing entrepreneurship as a civic priority. In that capacity, she oversees Right to Start’s network of 25 Ambassadors in 19 states and the District of Columbia, its field operations team of 14 Advocates in 10 states, and its evolving partnerships with cities, universities, and other local chapters. An experienced organizational leader, advocate, campaigner, and grassroots coalition-builder, she has worked at the local, national, and international levels. An entrepreneur, she is also co-founder of Points True North, a consulting firm working on a range of critical health, racial, and social justice issues.

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