Honoring America's Entrepreneurial Culture

Policy Paper
May 10, 2006

In his famous work on American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that "Boldness of enterprise is the foremost cause of [America's] rapid progress, its strength, and its greatness." This observation, made in the mid- 1830s, is one with which few of those who comment on economics and American commerce today would disagree. The "boldness of enterprise" that Tocqueville referred to is entrepreneurship, the process of innovation, which, under conditions of risk and uncertainty, results in the creation of a new venture. Economists such as Joseph Schumpeter have argued that entrepreneurs are essential to the success of markets. The new enterprises they start grow to be the small and medium-sized businesses that are a driving force behind America’s economic progress and job growth....

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