The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has announced a new $1 million effort to offer entrepreneurial training programs in communities that have been hit hard by layoffs and the recession.
In partnership with the Deluxe Corporation Foundation, which provided $500,000 in funding, Kauffman will roll out its FastTrac LaunchPad business-development program in New York City in March, with cities in other states, including Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, and Minnesota, to follow. The FastTrac program, which was established by the Kauffman Foundation fifteen years ago, provides training and education for individuals who have lost their jobs and entrepreneurs whose businesses are struggling in a tough economy. To help emerging and struggling entrepreneurs get a quicker start, the ten-week program will be offered on a truncated schedule.
According to a recent Kauffman-funded Census Bureau study, startup companies are a major contributor to job creation, and although the number of business startups tends to decline slightly during cyclical downturns, the number of existing startups remains robust even in the most severe recessions.
"Entrepreneurs will be the foundation of our nation's economic recovery because they start and grow businesses that create jobs," said Kauffman Foundation president and CEO Carl Schramm. "The Kauffman Foundation is dedicated to providing practical tools for entrepreneur training and development to fuel this recovery. The FastTrac LaunchPad initiative offers an incredible opportunity for communities across the nation, local entrepreneurs, and small business owners to build businesses and create jobs."