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We’re Asking President @BarackObama to Create a National Entrepreneurs’ Day. Join us.

UPDATE 5/24: With the Kauffman Foundation’s support, National Entrepreneurs’ Day has been moved to Global Entrepreneurship Week – starting November 19th of this year and every Friday of Global Entrepreneurship Week thereafter.

Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA is an initiative to shape the next generation of entrepreneurs and inspire them to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity. Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, it connects people everywhere as hundreds of thousands participate through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their entrepreneurial potential.

support_national_entrepreneurs_day A few months ago, while on my morning commute to the office, I was listening to the so-called “experts” debate the state of the economy, and whether or not the current administration is hurting entrepreneurship with their small business policy and broad taxes, which treat massive corporations and small companies exactly the same. I instantly recalled an infographic David had showed me about the minuscule amount of funding being allocated to entrepreneurship compared to healthcare, education, tax relief, and so on. How surprised I remember being by the lack of funding for entrepreneurship given that entrepreneurs are our central source of jobs and innovation.

Entrepreneurs are America’s real “bailout” in the sense that by investing in them and their ventures, we would stimulate a real economic turnaround. Whether or not you agree with the politics, entrepreneurship is a vital part of any economic stimulus – so why did it seem like no one was talking about the lack of investment in the future of entrepreneurs?

I then asked myself why I had never heard of a National Entrepreneurs’ Day – did we have one of those? A day to recognize entrepreneurs and all the hard work they do, just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so forth? So when I got to the office, I started doing some research. As it turned out, there were lots of week-long events such as Global Entrepreneurship Week, where a self-selected group of people celebrated entrepreneurship, and global events such as World Entrepreneurship Day, but there was no single day in the U.S. – like Martin Luther King Day – during which we recognize the individual entrepreneur and the ways they’ve made our country (and world) more innovative, and our economy stronger. Even China has a National Entrepreneurs’ Day! The more research I did, the more it confirmed my suspicion: America, the most entrepreneurial country in the world, didn’t have a National Entrepreneurs’ Day.

So, I did what any other entrepreneur would do, and I decided to take action. I asked distinguished entrepreneur and former New Hampshire Governor, Craig Benson, what it would take to get the president to recognize the day – not an official holiday, but a day recognized on the calendar. “A million signatures ought to do it,” he said. No problem. David and I knew we had to leverage the power of social media so we came up with what we were calling, “A Twitter Petition to the First Ever President on Twitter.” We started getting featured supporters on board: First, Leonard Schlesinger, President of Babson College, then entrepreneurs like Matt Mullenweg, Jason Fried, Dharmesh Shaw, Jeff Bussgang, and others. Ashoka and Entrepreneurs’ Organization loved the idea. More and more people were supportive of the movement, and we started to build real momentum.

So, today, a few months after that morning drive, we launched the petition to President @BarackObama. I need your support – sign it. Get your followers to sign it. Tell others about it. Tell your governor, your mayor, your senators. Call your local newspaper, TV stations, and radio shows. Tweet about it, post to your Facebook wall, Digg it, StumbleUpon it, blog about it, email your friends, and do everything you can to help us get a million signatures. Once you sign it, you’ll be given a unique link to Tweet and send to your friends.

The more signatures you get with your unique link, the higher your name appears on the letter.

WHY do this? Do it as a favor to yourself, to your country and to the future. Entrepreneurs made this country what it is, and if given the proper recognition and support, they can build an even brighter future through innovation and hard work. Let’s make National Entrepreneurs’ Day happen now.

If you have questions or more ideas to raise awareness, leave a comment.

  • http://www.dirtyphonebook.com Jason Marlow

    This is a really bad idea that’s just designed to fluff the creators’ egos at the expense of what makes entrepreneurship actually work. Entrepreneurship is an activity that is created by freedom.

    You don’t need some officially sanctioned and government blessed entrepreneurship day in America because every single day is already entrepreneurship day.

    Anybody else agree with me that this is a waste of time at best?

    • Siamak Taghaddos

      Entrepreneurs’ Day is different than an entrepreneurship day. It’s the same reason why we have a mother’s day, a father’s day – to give recognition to the people driving innovation and change, and hopefully convincing the President to start supporting entrepreneurs and stop passing regulations that are hurting us.

  • http://www.babson.edu Michael Chmura

    Sure, let’s celebrate Entrepreneurs’ Day.

  • http://YoungEntrepreneur.com Adam Toren

    I agree with Siamak here. This is a great idea and we need to recognize the entrepreneurs and ‘agents of change’ that are working diligently to contribute to the bettering of our economic climate!

  • Nancy Sullivan

    Great idea, Grasshopper. Your are growing in wisdom!

  • Martin Ramirez

    I think of it more as a way to promote entrepeneurship along with entrepeneurs. Entrepeneurship should be a required course in school, beginning in middle school. most entrepeneurs stumble along learning from their mistakes (nothing wrong with the learning)losing time. Think of all the valuable life skills that could be taught, even if the student doesn’t become an entrepeneur he would always have the skills taught.

  • http://www.brighteyeskindergarten.com ROSA MATTRESS – PRESIDENT/OWNER

    MR.PRESIDENT, THANK YOU AND THANK GOD.I AM ONE OF FOURTEEN CHILDREN RAISED ON A FARM IN THE SOUTH. IM A BLACK FEMAIL THAT DID NOT FINISH HIGH SCHOOL,WHITCH MADE IT VERRY HARD FOR ME TO GET A JOB AND GET AHEAD, I NEEDED A JOB THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO SUPPORT MY SELF/FAMILY.BUT BECAUSE OF GOD’S GIFT AND PURPOSE, I KEPT FEELING A DEEP BURNING INSIDE, I WENT FOR IT!! ENTREPRENEUR IN CHILD CARE, IM ABLE TO MAKE IT ON MY OWN AND GIVE OTHERS A CHANCE TO SUPPORT THEM SELF TOO.I WAS DRIVEN TO START MY KINDERGARTEN TO PROVE/ENSURE A EARLY EDUCATION FOR THE PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN IS MORE THAN A PLUS,CHILDREN THAT GET THE RIGHT START/FOUNDATION IN LIFE ARE ABLE TO READ/FUNCTION WITH LOVE … YOU SEE WHEN I WAS A YOUNGSTER IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO WORK ON THE FAMILY FARM, SO OUR WE COULD EAT AND HAVE SHELTER..MY LIFE HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE BECAUSE OF MY EDUCATION,BUT I KEPT PUSHING AND PRESSING..I NOW OWN MY COMPANY BUT STILL I CAN NOT BE THE DIRECTOR DUE TO MY EDUCATION.. I FEEL MY JOB IN LIFE IS TO NOT LET, A LACK OF EDUCATION STOP ANY ONE FROM GETTING AHEAD.. SO WITH THAT SAID IM GREATFUL FOR THIS DAY.PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE AT http://www.brighteyeskindergarten.com TO READ MY STORY..THANK YOU, ROSA MATTRESS

  • Scott

    Why would he support it? He has done nothing but destroy business and entrepreneurship.

  • http://writingitrightforyou.com WritingItRightForYou

    I agree with @Martin and @Adam. This day is not for a fluff greeting cards recognition; nor is it for government handout. It is recognition that small and innovative businesses are the economic foundation and engine of this country; not huge corporations and Wall Street bigwigs.

    It is a chance to show how many of us there really are and get our issues to the forefront and keep them there.

    If you don’t participate in government, you can’t complain about government.

  • Scott Smith

    I’ve longed believed that there should be a day to celebrate entrepreneurs. But since the owner of Entrepreneur magazine, Peter Shea, claims to own the word “entrepreneur,” he would probably sue to stop a national “Entrepreneurs Day.” That is unless “Entrepreneurs Day” is backed by deep pockets because Shea targets his attacks against small entrepreneurs he figures can’t or won’t fight back against his ludicrous trademark claims on the word entrepreneur.

  • Robbie Robinson

    Lets go I would love to have a day when I could meet other entrepreneurs. Sometimes thats the only understanding you will get from others who think like you, everyone else thinks you are
    crazy. Robbie
    AIR4S1 Sedan Service 3 0 1 – 7 9 2 – 3 9 3 2

  • http://markusrobinson.com Markus

    Love the idea, and I think President Obama is the perfect president to push this initiative forward (See Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship). I work with underprivileged and under-served kids in one of the poorest counties in my state. Trying to explain to them that they can produce the businesses and services that their communities are lacking is like trying to explain color to the blind. I’ve made it one of my life’s mission to enhance awareness of Entrepreneurship to my small community, and I would hope this initiative would bring even more awareness to communities like mine around the nation. I’m down…and if there’s anything i can do to help, please contact me.

  • http://www.kidsncaboodle.com Sandy Rich

    Entrepreneurs Day, properly promoted, will let the public know how vital entrepreneurs are to growing our economy.

  • http://www.jswpartners.com Tray

    is there a way to sign the petition without joining facebook or twitter? i know i’m a luddite but I’d prefer not have to join one of those to lend my name to the cause.

  • http://www.garywhitehill.com/ Gary Whitehill

    Many governments take a misguided approach to building entrepreneurial movements/ecosystems, within both industrialized and developing countries, by pursuing unattainable ideas because they simply do not realize how truly complex such a task is. Doing so is extremely complex.

    Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem literally takes tens of thousands of hours of research into the landscape of the particular area. The goal of that research is understand all of disparate pieces of the “puzzle” – every micro and macro intricacy that could become a challenge to the well oiled machine.

    When the idea of New York Entrepreneur Week (NYEW) began floating around NYC it was thought such an idea was impossible to execute upon. However, when you take the time to understand every piece of the puzzle (among others) – entrepreneurs, investors, competitive industry dynamics, NGOs, local gov’t, stage gov’t, federal gov’t – you then begin to see the interweaving of the ecosystem. Most governments and NGOs stop there, thinking they have enough data to build a holistic framework. Unfortunately they do not.

    The 20% that makes 80% of the difference when building an entrepreneurial ecosystem is also understanding things that cannot simply be inputted into an excel spreadsheet – culture and the interpersonal relationships stakeholders within the ecosystem have.

    Meaning, the culture in which someone is raised affects the lens in which they view the world. Everyone comes from somewhere different – therefore, it’s a micro data point that’s not easily quantifiable, but makes all the difference in the world. Understand how each stakeholder views the initiative, and in particular, their own viewpoints on how the ecosystem works and what it needs.

    Second, we are all human – there are situations when certain people do not like certain people (for whatever reason). Unless you understand who likes who or who doesn’t get along with who – you’re creating your own self-made landmine that could destroy all of your progress to that point. Once again, it’s a micro data point, but one which makes 80% of the difference.

    There is a case study about NYEW and how a holistic community was built in the hypercompetitive market of New York City. I would encourage anyone who’s interested in building communities to research it and get in touch.

    Best regards,

    Gary Whitehill

    http://www.garywhitehill.com/

  • http://www.pipacusa.org Valerie Gaydos

    I agree with Jason Marlow that “Entrepreneurship is an activity that is created by freedom.” and that “You don’t need some officially sanctioned and government blessed entrepreneurship day in America because every single day is already entrepreneurship day.”

    However, I do believe that an “entrepreneurship day” or even “entrepreneurship week” would be a great idea so that the rest of the nation will see what we entrepreneurs really do…how much risk we take…how much we build for the rest of those who are not entrepreneurs….and how this great nation was founded on entrepreneurs.

    So, I say “three cheers” to creating “entrepreneurship day”

    Maybe for once the spotlight on us will help people become aware how important we are to the US economy!

  • Mtress

    I feel the Day Should Be recognized. The government seems to forget that large companies were once small ideas that were driven by the entrepreneurial spirit. Look at the large corporations you hear about in the news. One comes to mind is Mr Bill Gates. He started in his garage. Now look. I personally am trying to start a small business and can’t get a small grant ($15K). Most of the grant money is either for research & development or new technology which is fine But, what about the other ventures.
    Regardless, the day needs to be recognized. Thanks for reading another of Martins-picks…