Promote Competitive Markets that Spur Productive Entrepreneurship

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It is imperative to create a national environment ripe for entrepreneurship and risk-taking that allows U.S. companies to be internationally competitive in a global exchange of ideas and innovation. Through competitive markets, innovations diffuse and scale appropriately across industries and globally. Below are examples of Obama Administration initiatives that promote competitive markets and help spur productive entrepreneurship.

Promote American Exports

  • National Export Initiative (NEI) Executive Order
    In his January 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama called for a new National Export Initiative (NEI) to double U.S. exports and support two million new jobs. In March 2010 President Obama announced five steps the Administration is taking under the NEI to help U.S. firms expand sales of their goods and services abroad: creating a new Cabinet-level focus on U.S. exports, expanding export financing, prioritizing government advocacy on behalf of U.S. exporters, providing new resources to U.S. businesses seeking to export, and ensuring a level playing field for U.S. exporters in global markets.
    Read the Executive Order
    Watch web chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Support Open Capital Markets that Allocate Resources to the Most Promising Ideas

  • Ensure Working Financial

    While free and open markets provide significant benefits, they must work for consumers and investors. The recent financial crisis highlighted the danger of managing a 21st century economy with a 20th century regulatory framework. We are committed to building a system where individuals and businesses can innovate and take chances without fearing that the system will pose untenable risks. 

    In July 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall-Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which protects consumers and investors while safeguarding the freedom, competition, and innovation that are necessary for economic growth.
    Learn more.

Encourage High-Growth and Innovation-Based Entrepreneurship

    U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and The Kauffman Foundation formed a new public-private partnership,, focused on leveraging best practices in entrepreneurial leadership to advance economic growth around the world. The website is designed to be a one-stop resource for domestic and international interest in the U.S. approach to entrepreneurship. It includes research, educational content, policy papers, and information about entrepreneurship events worldwide.
    Learn more.
  • Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship
    President Obama, together with the Department of State and the Department of Commerce, hosted the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.  Participants from over 40 countries on 5 continents attended.  The Summit highlighted the role entrepreneurship can play in addressing common challenges while building partnerships that will lead to greater opportunity abroad and at home.

    The Summit was first announced in a June 2009 speech by the President in Cairo where he articulated a plan to convene a summit to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations, and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.
    Learn more.

  • The i6 Challenge
    U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation launched a $12 million innovation competition in May 2010 to foster technology commercialization and entrepreneurship throughout the United States.
    Learn more.

Improve Public Sector Innovation and Support Community Innovation

  • Open Government Directive
    On his first day in Office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government. The Administration has taken a number of steps to fulfill the President’s Memorandum and open up government to the American people, including issuing the Open Government Directive, releasing high value government data, creating open government webpages and publishing open government plans throughout the Executive branch.
    Learn more.
    Watch web chat with White House officials.
  • Social Innovation Fund
    In May 2009, President Obama announced that he would ask Congress in the FY2010 budget to provide $50 million in seed capital for his Social Innovation Fund, fulfilling a campaign pledge. Congress fulfilled this request. The Fund will identify the most promising, results-oriented non-profit programs and expand their reach throughout the country.  

    This is a dramatically different way for the government to do business – and it reflects the President’s new governing approach -- finding and scaling the best social innovations; partnering with those who are leading change in their communities; and creating a policy environment for all these innovations to thrive.
    Learn more.

    In May 2009, the Obama administration launched, a platform that opens up the workings of government by making government information available in a wide range of areas – including economic, health care, and environmental data – on a single website. Today, a community of innovators helping to change the way that Washington works has developed around, creating hundreds of applications based upon the more than 250,000 datasets now available online.
    Learn more.
  • The SAVE Award
    In April 2009, President Obama announced the SAVE award to allow every government worker to submit ideas for how the Federal government can save money and perform better. More than 38,000 ideas were submitted in three weeks in the Fall of 2009. The winning award was submitted by Nancy Fichtner, allowing patients to take home medications and medical supplies upon being released from the hospital that would otherwise have been thrown away. This idea is expected to save the Federal government $14.5 million over five years.
    Learn more.


White House Shareables