The week was officially launched at Stanford University in California on Feb. 24. Activities designed to inspire, educate and prepare young people to consider entrepreneurship and innovation in all aspects of their lives are scheduled during the week in all 50 states and nearly every major city in the United States.
Several nationwide educational, policy and mentoring/networking events will serve to highlight EntrepreneurshipWeek USA, including two national contests that ask aspiring young entrepreneurs to pitch their big ideas on www.EntrepreneurshipWeekUSA.goingon.com, a social networking Web site of EntrepreneurshipWeek USA.
Other national events include a policy summit in Washington, D.C. that will examine key policy areas with a view toward promoting economic growth and innovation, as well as lowering barriers that make it harder than it should be for individuals to form and sustain businesses. Additionally, the National Governors Association will conduct a news conference in support of policy measures to help spur entrepreneurial activity.
With the theme, "What's Your Big Idea? Take it On!," the EntrepreneurshipWeek USA initiative is designed to serve as an inspiration for young people to think creatively and to turn their ideas into action - whether that means starting a new business, developing an innovation for an existing company or solving a problem that makes society better. On a national basis, the week is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Inc. magazine and The New York Times.
"Educating our young people about entrepreneurship and reinforcing the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to our economy is critical to America's long-term prosperity - more so now than ever before," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation.
According to Kauffman Foundation research, 41 percent of children ages 9 -12 say they would like to start their own business.
"Young people have a natural desire for the independence and control that come with owning a business and being their own boss," Schramm said.
Additionally, entrepreneurship is a driving force of the U.S. economy. During the past 15 years, businesses less than five years old have accounted for about 70 percent of the net job creation in the United States. However, while America presently maintains the edge as an entrepreneurial society, there are clear signs of massive economic competition from abroad.
For more information, visit www.EntrepreneurshipWeekUSA.com.