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Launch Tennessee Selected to Help Form First-Ever Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network

Selected as one of six entrepreneurial support organizations nationwide, Launch Tennessee will receive grant to serve as policy advocate for entrepreneurs

Nashville, Tenn. (Jan. 11. 2018) – Launch Tennessee announced today that it has been selected as a grant recipient to form the first-ever Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network, an alliance of organizations that will bring the voices of entrepreneurs to policy debates at the state level.

Launch Tennessee is one of six entrepreneurial support organizations selected from an invitation-only nationwide RFP process. The Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network seeks to remove barriers to new business creation and entrepreneurial success by improving public policy at the state level. Applicants included nonprofit and for-profit organizations that provide technical assistance, access to finance, education and other resources to entrepreneurs.

“This first-ever Kauffman policy advocacy RFP drew strong interest among entrepreneur support organizations,” said Jason Wiens, policy director at the Kauffman Foundation. “Launch Tennessee recognizes the role public policy can play in removing barriers to entrepreneurship so that more makers, doers and dreamers can pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.”

Among other actions, grant recipients will:

  • Identify state policies that inhibit entrepreneurship,
  • Educate policymakers about the impact of those policies in erecting barriers to entrepreneurship,
  • Build support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship generally, and
  • Facilitate informational interactions between policymakers and entrepreneurs.

“We’re thrilled to have additional resources from the Kauffman Foundation to bolster our work advocating on behalf of Tennessee entrepreneurs,” said Lindsey Cox, director of operations and government affairs at Launch Tennessee. “In our experience, entrepreneurs and policymakers are enthusiastic about reducing barriers to entry for new businesses and creating new jobs. This grant funding will enable us to facilitate the right stakeholder conversations that advance those common goals.”

Entrepreneurs are the beating heart of the American economy, but they typically are too busy building their businesses to make their voices heard in public policy, resulting in more barriers to new business creation and waning business startup rates. The Kauffman Foundation is forming the Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network to bring the voices of entrepreneurs to policy debates by empowering the support organizations that champion them.

The Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network is part of the Kauffman Foundation’s Zero Barriers movement, which seeks to identify and remove barriers to new business creation.


About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship, with the goal of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the country. Partnering with six regional Entrepreneur Centers, Launch Tennessee provides access to technology skills development, capital formation, entrepreneurial resources and more for high-growth startups. Visit LaunchTN.org to discover what makes Tennessee the best place for innovative tech companies.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

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