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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Small Business and Entrepreneurship during an Economic Recovery


Agenda & Materials

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

8:30 a.m.

Registration and continental breakfast

9:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Introduction by Sandra Braunstein, Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

10:00 a.m.

The Role of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Job Creation

Current economic conditions have the potential to alter what we think we know about small businesses' role in the economy and job creation. Authors have been asked to consider the following questions: How does the recent recession differ from previous ones in terms of jobs and small business creation/destruction? What types of businesses are the most important sources of jobs? Whom do they hire? What is the role of self employment in the labor market? How do small businesses support the general economy as well as local community development?

Moderator: Robin Prager, Deputy Associate Director, Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

  • The Declining Average Size of Establishments: Evidence and Explanations
    Paper available at:

    Presenting Author:  Eleanor J. Choi, Research Economist, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Coauthor: James R. Spletzer, Senior Research Economist, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The Small Business Sector in Recent Recoveries (PDF)
    Presenting Author:  William Dunkelberg, Professor of Economics, Temple University (Coauthor: Michael J. Chow, Senior Data Analyst, National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation)

Discussant: John Haltiwanger, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland--College Park

11:15 a.m.


11:30 a.m.

The Landscape for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

This panel lays the foundation for the more in depth discussions of subsequent sessions by featuring information from some of the intelligence-gathering efforts of staff within the Federal Reserve System and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation about the current environment in which small businesses are operating.

Moderator: Karen Leone de Nie, Community and Economic Development Research Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


  • Claire Kramer, Regional and Community Outreach Analyst Director, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Alicia Robb, Senior Research Fellow, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • John Robertson, Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Maude Toussaint-Comeau, Senior Business Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

12:45 p.m.

Luncheon and Keynote Address

Carl J. Schramm, President and CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Introduction by Robert Strom, Research Director, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

2:00 p.m.


2:15 p.m.

The Importance of a Robust Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

A combination of policies, programs, services and networks is vital to encourage and support entrepreneurship both nationally and at the local level. These authors provide a critical assessment of strategies to create a healthy and productive entrepreneurial ecosystem for all. What has proven most effective and why? Who are the key players and what are the important components for an entrepreneurial ecosystem strategy?

Moderator: Ana Patricia Muñoz, Policy Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Discussant: Claudia Viek, CEO, California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO)

3:30 p.m.

The Unique Challenges of and Opportunities for Minority- and Women-Owned Small Businesses

While minority- and women-owned businesses have experienced notable growth in the last decade, they have historically faced multiple constraints when seeking capital to start or operate a business. These papers examine the experiences of these groups as they navigate the economic downturn. Questions of interest include: How have current economic conditions affected minority- and women-owned small businesses? How does capital access for women and minorities differ from access for the general population? What best practices and strategies do women and minority entrepreneurs bring to advance innovative and sustainable entrepreneurship?

Moderator: Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, Research Economist and Community and Economic Development Adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Discussant: Gregory B. Fairchild, Executive Director of the Tayloe Murphy Center and Associate Professor of Business Administration, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

4:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Joseph Firschein, Deputy Associate Director and Community Affairs Officer, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

5:15 p.m.

Networking Reception

The networking reception will provide an opportunity for attendees to continue conversations on topics illuminated by the day’s panel discussions. Until 7 p.m. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

8:30 a.m.

Continental breakfast

9:00 a.m.

Introductory Remarks

Dennis P. Lockhart, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Introduction by Todd Greene, Vice President, Community and Economic Development and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

9:30 a.m.

Strengthening Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Urban and Rural Communities

Urban and rural areas present different hurdles to entrepreneurial and small business growth and sustainability. Among the questions the authors will consider: Who are the providers of credit and capital in rural versus urban communities? How have distressed urban and rural communities successfully fostered sustainable entrepreneurship? What is the role of small business and self employment in creating economic vitality for communities and individuals in these distinctly different environments?

Moderator: Jeremiah Boyle, Community Affairs Managing Director, Community Development and Policies Studies Division, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Discussant: Timothy Bates, Professor of Economics, Wayne State University


10:45 a.m.


11:00 a.m.

The Importance of Access to Capital for Business Innovation

The economic downturn has led to changes in underwriting standards and capital flows. Authors critically examine these changes and how small businesses and start-ups, as well as lenders, are adapting to this new economic environment.

Moderator: Traci Mach, Economist, Financial Structure, Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Discussant: Clinton B. Gwin, President, Pathway Lending

12:15 p.m.

Luncheon and Keynote Address

Amy Wilkinson, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Business and Government, and Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Introduction by Anna Alvarez Boyd, Senior Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

2:00 p.m.


Last update: March 16, 2017