President Obama just unveiled the American Jobs Act, an ambitious plan to create jobs across the country and put more money in the pockets of American workers and businesses – all without adding a dime to the deficit.
The President’s jobs plan, specifically crafted to garner quick bipartisan
support, also promises to dramatically accelerate the pace of American
innovation and the success of U.S. entrepreneurs, who have historically been
responsible for virtually all new job growth across the country. Here are five
- Boosting access to capital for high-growth
companies: America’s most innovative companies need equity capital to grow and hire faster. As part of the President’s Startup America initiative, the Administration will work to unlock this capital through smart regulatory changes that are consistent with investor protection. This means reducing the disproportionately high costs that smaller companies face when going public, as well as raising the cap on “mini” public offerings (Regulation A) from $5 million to $50 million. It also means responsibly allowing startups to raise money through “crowdfunding” – gathering many small-dollar investments that add up to as much as $1 million. Right now, entrepreneurs like these bakers and these gadget-makers are already using crowdfunding platforms to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in pure donations – imagine the possibilities ifthese small-dollar donors became investors with a stake in the venture. Steve Case, chairman of the Startup America Partnership, noted after he joined the First Lady as a guest at the President’s speech, that “High-growth entrepreneurial businesses have been responsible for nearly all of the net jobs created in the last three decades – so policies that make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and expand companies must be at the epicenter of any jobs effort. While Republicans and Democrats don’t seem to agree on much these days, they do agree that entrepreneurs hold the key to a bright economic future. Therefore, I hope both parties will put politics and partisanship aside, and work together to ensure the success of the next generation of great American companies.”
- Turning job-seekers into job-creators: Through innovative use of Federal unemployment insurance funds, all 50 states will have the flexibility to support long-term unemployed workers who create their own jobs by starting their own companies. A few states already have these self-employment assistance (SEA) programs, many of which have been remarkably successful. For example, SEA allowed two unemployed software developers to co-found a new mobile advertising company in 2009 – and today that company has raised $6.5 million in venture capital, employs 28 workers, and plans to hire many more.