WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a roundtable today entitled “Developing and Strengthening High-Growth Entrepreneurship.” The roundtable brought together a wide variety of experts: renowned policy leaders, federal and state experts, business leaders, specialists in innovation, successful entrepreneurs and others who are leading the way in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Senator Landrieu made the following comments:

“America is still the world’s greatest home for innovation and entrepreneurship and small businesses are the most innovative. It is clear that some entrepreneurs have the ‘secret sauce’ that led them to be successful and grow their workforce. I want us to use these roundtables and hearings to brainstorm about realistic solutions for Congress and the federal government to create the best ecosystem possible for the more than half-million new businesses started every year.”

Today’s discussion is the first in a series of three roundtables and one hearing Chair Landrieu plans to hold to discuss start-ups and economic growth. These discussions will bring together a wide variety of experts who are leading the way in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems. Ultimately, through these discussions, the Chair will identify specific ideas and recommendations to be included in a comprehensive piece of legislation.

According to studies provided by the Kauffman Foundation, fast-growing young firms, comprising less than 1 percent of all companies, generate roughly 10 percent of new jobs in any given year. Additionally, as stated in an interim report from the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, over the last three decades, young firms less than five years old have created 40 million new jobs, according to a series of recent studies of U.S. labor data. Those 40 million jobs actually account for ALL NET new jobs created in the United States over that period. To further explain this point—while larger, more established companies are hiring, they are also firing. On the other hand, gazelles are solely hiring.

The panel included Mr. Wayne Crews, Vice President of Policy for Competitive Enterprise Institute; Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of American Action Forum; Mr. Barry Evans, CEO of Calxeda; Mr. Ridgely C. Evers, Managing Partner of Tapit Partners LLC; Mr. Stephen Ezell, Senior Analyst of Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; Mr. Mike Farmer, Founder and CEO of Leap2; Mr. Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Mr. Sean Greene, Associate Administrator for Investment for the U.S. Small Business Administration; Mr. Jim Kessler, Senior Vice President of Policy for Third Way; Mr. Brink Lindsey, Research and Policy Associate of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Mr. Jonathan Ortmans, Senior Fellow of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Mr. Tim Rowe, Founder and CEO of Cambridge Innovation Center; Ms. Madeleine Sumption, Policy Analyst of Migration Policy Institute; and Ms. Diane Tomb, President and CEO of National Association of Women Business Owners.