What the Candidates Think  

Obama: In April 2012, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, a bill that he believes will make it easier for small businesses to enter the public marketplace and get money from investors. President Obama also reportsthat over 150,000 small businesses have received over $80 billion in loans since January 2009.

In a recent interview with Scientific American, Obama expressed support for funding innovation, saying, “I am committed to doubling funding for key research agencies to support scientists and entrepreneurs, so that we can preserve America’s place as the world leader in innovation, and strengthen U.S. leadership in the 21st century’s high-tech knowledge-based economy.” 

Romney: In an interview with Scientific American, Gov. Mitt Romney stated, “I have laid out a detailed economic plan that seeks to strengthen the American economy by empowering entrepreneurs and workers and rewarding innovation.”

Romney saysthat he plans to empower entrepreneurs by simplifying the tax code “so that investors and entrepreneurs are not confronted with a constantly shifting set of rules.” He also plans to help America attract immigrants with advanced degrees in science and technology, as well as support the principle of free enterprise.

Warren: Elizabeth Warren argues that the government needs to do more to support entrepreneurs.Warren’s platform states,“We need to invest in creating a Commonwealth and country that continue to lead the world in the research and innovations and that powers our economy across generations. Anything else is short-sighted.”

Warren believesthat in order to help start-ups succeed, “We need to make it easier for entrepreneurs and start-ups to have lower capital costs … by investing in fixing up our roads and bridges, extending mass transit and rail, updating water and sewage systems and developing a 21st-century power grid.”

Brown: Sen. Scott Brown argues he has used his time in the Senate to support innovation. Brown’s platform states he helped reauthorize Small Business Innovation Research, a program that “provides seed money to small businesses through a highly competitive program to encourage federal research and development of commercially-viable goods and products.”

Brown also introduced the CROWDFUND Act, which was passed in March 2012. Of the bill, Brown said, “Crowdfunding will allow small businesses to bypass Wall Street and go straight to Main Street for financing, freeing every American to invest in a local business or the next great idea.” 

Entrepreneurship declined 5.9 percent in 2011. (Kauffman Foundation, March 2012)

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