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Brandon Gumm2/16/24 2:25 PM

How Government Can Build More Inclusive Entrepreneurship

New strategies for improving government support that fuels new business growth.

Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the American Dream, offering pathways to financial independence, job creation, and community development. However, the Institute for Justice's (IJ)  "Barriers to Business" report demonstrates a stark reality: government support often imposes high costs, delays, and complex hurdles that can stifle small business growth and innovation. The report, which includes an introduction, detailed results, and a roadmap for reform, alongside examples from 20 unique cities across the United States, sheds light on the significant challenges entrepreneurs face when navigating the maze of local government rules.

The "Barriers to Business" report underscores the detrimental impact government support can have through the lens of real-world experiences. Entrepreneurs, particularly those in communities of color or with limited resources, encounter a "death by a thousand cuts" as they grapple with opaque regulations, filing fees, and bureaucratic complexity. This not only hampers their ability to start and grow businesses but also limits economic diversity and innovation within communities. The report's findings highlight the need for systemic reform to make starting a business cheaper, faster, and simpler.

Addressing these challenges, the Institute for Justice proposes a comprehensive roadmap for reform aimed at local policymakers. By advocating for lower license fees, the establishment of true one-stop shops, and the simplification of licensing processes, the report offers actionable solutions to dismantle the barriers to entrepreneurship. This approach not only benefits potential business owners but also supports broader economic growth and resilience. 




The Institute for Justice has created a set of services for cities wanting to take action. It's called Cities Work.  By taking the entrepreneur's perspective, IJ's team works to "identify the city’s real-world hurdles to starting a small business and offer comprehensive regulatory reform strategies." The best part? All of these services are free of charge. Their team has already worked with over 20 Cities like Jacksonville, FL, San Francisco, CA, and Indianapolis, IL. 

One key recommendation calls for cities to “create a true one-stop shop for starting a business, where applicants can access and complete all the paperwork they need to get their business off the ground in one portal with a single sign-on.” While many cities have one-stop shops, few in the report garnered high praise, with many cities missing critical features that could help entrepreneurs succeed. For cities looking to improve, this is where Qwally can help. 

At Qwally, we celebrate the work inside governments and support organizations to help businesses succeed. Many of our partners advocate for accessible rules and regulations to help create inclusive, healthy, and safe communities. As we look to support the Institute for Justice’s call to reexamine business support, our Business Engagement Platform is a vital resource to help bridge the gap. By centralizing support and resources, Qwally can help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business, making the dream of business ownership more accessible to all.


Brandon Gumm

Brandon leads sales, marketing, and customer success at Qwally, an industry-leading developer of business engagement software for local governments and support organizations. If you are a local government or support organization working with entrepreneurs and small businesses, please reach out!