Rep. Hill Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Enhance the Future of American Entrepreneurship

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Entrepreneurship Caucus Co-Chair Congressman French Hill (AR-02), introduced the Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act. Original cosponsors of the bill include Entrepreneurship Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX).

The Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act directs the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a comprehensive study into the underlying economic factors driving the decline in rates of entrepreneurship, also known as the "startup slump." Economic research reveals that the rate of entrepreneurship in America has fallen to nearly a 40-year low. This decline is occurring in all 50 states, in almost all 360 metro areas examined, and across a broad range of industries.

“One thing that we know for certain is that small business entrepreneurs and startups are responsible for the majority of new innovation, job creation, and economic growth," said Congressman Hill. "However, as the rate of new business formation continues to decrease, Congress needs comprehensive answers on how to enact pro-growth policies for a 21st century economy. As an Arkansas entrepreneur and job creator, I know how difficult it can be to get a business off the ground. Working with entrepreneurs, business leaders, and economists to identify the root causes of the startup slump is a critical step to unleashing a new generation of small business growth.”

“After growing at an average annual rate of 3.6 percent between 1947 and 2000, the U.S. economy has not grown at 3 percent or better on a year-over-year basis since 2005,” said John R. Dearie, President, Center for American Entrepreneurship. “It is not a coincidence that this subpar growth is occurring at a time when startup rates have fallen near four-decade lows. Revitalizing American entrepreneurship and achieving the more robust economic growth the American people need and deserve requires informed changes in public policy – which, in turn, requires a rigorous understanding of the likely causes of declining rates of new business formation. The Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act will contribute enormously to our understanding by directing the Secretary of Commerce to investigate the issue, bringing to bear all the data and analytic capacities of the federal government.” 


Formation of the caucus is supported by the Center for American Entrepreneurship, Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Innovation Group, the National Venture Capital Association, the Angel Capital Association, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Archbridge Institute, Third Way, Engine, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the National League of Cities, the Small Business Majority, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), and the Small Business Roundtable. 

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