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The Entrepreneurial Imperative: How America's Economic Miracle Will Reshape the World (and Change Your Life)

Recorded on November 27, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In 2004, Carl Schramm, President of the Kauffman Foundation, the world's leading foundation for entrepreneurship, published a groundbreaking essay with a radical premise: that Americans literally have no conception of the secret that truly underlies our economic success, and that for the United States to survive and continue to lead the world's economy, it is imperative we learn to understand and employ that secret. The secret that has led the American economy to become the world's strongest? Our unparalleled skill as entrepreneurs. As Schramm argues, entrepreneurship alone - not anything else - can give America the necessary leverage to remain an economic superpower. Not technology, since everyone now has the same technology, or access to it. Not education - we are years behind other nations in this area. Not basic manufacturing, long since moved overseas from the United States. And not capital markets, now truly global entities.

Drawing on detailed research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation and on his decades of experience as an entrepreneur himself and as a leader and mentor to other entrepreneurs, Schramm persuasively demonstrates in detail what this entrepreneurial imperative means for the way we run universities and foundations, lead companies, make personal job decisions, and even conduct our foreign affairs. The Entrepreneurial Imperative can change not only the way our government, corporations, and nonprofits operate, but also our day-to-day lives as working Americans.

Carl J. Schramm was named President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation in 2002. Trained as an economist and lawyer, he has founded companies in the health care, finance, and information technology arenas. He is a Batten Fellow at Virginia's Darden School of Business and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.