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Small Business Policy and Innovation Initiative

Small Business Policy and Innovation

Our Mission

Small businesses, employing half of all private-sector workers and contributing nearly half of the US economic output, face challenges in formation and sustainability, posing risks to economic growth, job creation, and innovation over the past 25 years.

The Milken Institute Small Business Policy and Innovation Initiative conducts research and analysis on macroeconomic trends and policies impacting small businesses and start-ups. Our aim is to offer policy recommendations and program solutions for fostering an entrepreneurial environment that promotes inclusive prosperity across regions and demographics.

Our research and programming focus on understanding the factors and trends influencing the launch, competition, and success of small businesses and start-ups in the modern economy. We focus on the following key areas:

  • Innovative Finance & Equitable Access to Capital

  • Technology & the Internet

  • Workforce Development

By the Numbers


of all businesses in the US are small businesses.


of all new jobs were created by small businesses.


Our innovation rate could quadruple given more equitable access to capital.

How We Implement Our Mission

  • Conducting research and analysis to identify the key challenges small businesses face with a focus on driving change to benefit both traditional small businesses and start-ups

  • Connecting programs, publications, and convenings to policy, regulatory changes, and economic trends that impact the entrepreneurial community

  • Convening founders, investors, business leaders, academic experts, policymakers, government officials, and other key stakeholders to contribute ideas that drive action and benefit the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem

Our Vision and Policy Goals
The evolving landscape of community banking, technology, globalization, and policy changes disproportionately affect small businesses and start-ups, key drivers of job creation and innovation. The Milken Institute Small Business Policy and Innovation Initiative aims to address these challenges with innovative solutions.
More Information
To learn more about this initiative, contact Associate Director of Small Business Policy and Innovation, Kristen Fanarakis.
Contact Kristen