Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and entrepreneurialism is an important pathway to the middle class for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, all too often, women and racial and ethnic minorities face structural barriers to starting businesses, leading to lower business ownership rates among these underserved demographics. Progressive policies that expand access to capital and give people the tools and knowledge they need to start a business can help overcome these barriers to create a more inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial economy.
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew will headline a Center for American Progress event on fostering a small business economy with opportunity for all and will highlight the impact of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, or SSBCI, and Small Business Lending Fund, or SBLF, on supporting small businesses in the wake of the Great Recession. Following Secretary Lew’s remarks, a panel will discuss the barriers that women and racial and ethnic minorities face in starting a business and how progressive policies and programs can expand opportunities for business ownership for all, with a particular focus on proposals that will be detailed in a forthcoming CAP report focused on ensuring diverse and inclusive entrepreneurship.
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress
Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the Treasury
Aaron Chatterji, Associate Professor, Duke University Fuqua School of Business
Jessica Milano, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy, Department of the Treasury
Ami Sanchez, General Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
LaJuanna Russell, Board Member, Small Business Majority; Founder and President, Business Management Associates
Kate Bahn, Economist, Center for American Progress