Envolve hosts inaugural Congressional Day of Action entrepreneurship event on Washington's Capitol Hill
Earlier this month on 12th February, Envolve Entrepreneurship (envolveglobal.org) and AnitaB.org (anitab.org) hosted an event on Capitol Hill focused on entrepreneurship and small business policy. This inaugural Congressional Day of Action, entitled “Realizing the American Dream & Redefining Inclusive Entrepreneurship,” convened senior policy makers, grantees of the Envolve Award USA business plan competition, finalists in AnitaB.org’s PitcHER contest for female technology entrepreneurs, and stakeholders from across America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. There was a policy roundtable discussion at the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship with senior legislative staff, followed by a reception with Members of Congress, where participants had the opportunity to network and showcase their businesses.
The event highlighted some of America’s talented up and coming entrepreneurs and placed particular emphasis on the issues and barriers that small businesses and startups face at every stage. A key objective was to emphasize the unique challenges that women and minority business founders encounter.
Visiting entrepreneurs began their day with a tour of the U.S. Capitol. The 40+ participants at the roundtable included senior policymakers and influencers who focus on entrepreneurship or business cultivation including representatives from Rise of the Rest, Black Girl Ventures, NextGen Chamber of Commerce, Generation Titans, and Georgia State University’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute.
The conversation was led by staff from Committee Chairman Marco Rubio and Ranking Member Ben Cardin’s offices. Entrepreneurs discussed their personal experiences and challenges with starting a business, and stakeholders were able to add their institutional knowledge and expertise to inform policy that is being drafted by the committee. One particular point of policy that dominated the discussion was access to capital and government oversight of lending structures.
Several entrepreneurs had the opportunity to also meet one-on-one with their representatives in Congress and share their entrepreneurial journeys.
“Envolve’s mission is to be an advocate for aspiring and burgeoning entrepreneurs. We seek to ensure that America’s startup ecosystem properly reflects America’s rich diversity. Direct collaboration between entrepreneurs from diverse communities and governmental officials is important to achieve this goal and yet it is unfortunately uncommon. Our day of action on Capitol Hill we believe will establish pathways to new and stronger collaborations. We are very proud of our grantees and the AnitaB.org PitcHER competition finalists who had much to share and suggest,” said Envolve’s CEO, Christopher R. Upperman.
“At AnitaB.org, we work to advance systems of support for women as technical leaders, and that includes tech entrepreneurship. It is critical that women subject matter experts have the opportunity to raise the issues that matter in their lived experiences, including nuances specific to the realities and horizon of technical innovation, as well as navigating and thriving as woman entrepreneurs. We thank the Committee as well as the attendees for elevating this important discussion,” said Dr. Stephanie Rodriguez, VP Policy & Engagement at AnitaB.org.