Victor Hwang, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, was one of the speakers at this year's Global Entrepreneurship Congress where he discussed what’s next for the Kauffman Foundation and its entrepreneurship programs.
“One of the things that people often ask us at Kauffman is what’s next, what are we thinking about in the future?” said Hwang. “And [the] Kauffman Foundation has been integral to the start of a lot of things in the entrepreneurial world – including the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and many other things people think about today as being part of the entrepreneurial system.”
One focus of the Kauffman Foundation’s work in entrepreneurship includes entrepreneurial learning – moving from traditional education methods to providing entrepreneurship education through peer-based groups, applied learning, project-based tools and solving real-world problems.
Another feature of their programs, Hwang said, is centered on entrepreneurial ecosystem building – or how people can build communities to support entrepreneurship.
“We’re building a playbook, which is a synthesis of the best practices around the world in ecosystem building, and putting it in a format that’s easy for people to understand, whether it’s a community leader or a prime minister – and anyone in between – can easily understand what it takes to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he said.
A third focus is working to find gaps in the market where certain people have a harder time realizing their dream to start their own business. #ZeroBarriers is a campaign driven by the Kauffman Foundation to eliminate barriers for those who wish to start a business. The principle is that if you have an idea, then you have a fundamental right to start a business – quickly, inexpensively, without confusion and without barriers – regardless of age, race, gender or where you live.
“We’re going to try to fight to empower people, regardless of who they are or where they’re from,” said Hwang. “They shouldn’t have any barriers in the way. That’s our goal, to be able to help people and empower them, to be an entrepreneur, anywhere they are.”
Watch the video interview below or on the GEC 2017 playlist on GEN's YouTube channel.