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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
Mar 11, 2019

2019 Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference

Introduction

On January 31 and February 1, 2019, the Frank H. Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise (Kenan Institute) hosted its Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference at The Breakers Palm Beach Resort. The conference brought together more than 150 academic research scholars, policy experts and private sector professionals to discuss and debate the most challenging current issues in the field of entrepreneurship in order to set the agenda for future research and policy.

Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown opened the conference with an overview of free enterprise and entrepreneurship as drivers of economic prosperity.

Brown referenced the fact that, though the per capita U.S. GDP has grown substantially during the last 20 years, median household income in the U.S. has not kept pace. The implication is that much of the new wealth created during this time period has gone to a very small group of people at the very top of the economic ladder.

Entrepreneurship is seen by many to be a means of redistributing this wealth more equitably. Although entrepreneurship historically has been viewed as the lifeblood of free enterprise, many questions still remain regarding its resiliency and efficacy in increasing economic productivity and improving society. Specifically, recent research suggests that the increase in the wealth shares of the top 0.1 percent and 1 percent groups of households is almost exclusively driven by entrepreneurs.

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, entrepreneurship is a rapidly shifting and evolving field. Brown underscored the need to further entrepreneurial research from both a corporate and a policymaking outlook in order to move the discussion forward and find answers to the question of entrepreneurship’s value within the current economic framework.

Finally, Brown outlined three primary goals for the conference:

  • To better understand what we already know about entrepreneurship;
  • To have conversations we would not otherwise have through an interdisciplinary approach; and,
  • To decide on important issues we need to further explore across the field.

The proceeding summary offers highlights from each day’s presentations and discussions.

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