Advancing the Science of Business-building

  • Prosperity
  • 1990

Ewing Kauffman was a congenital entrepreneur. After two years in his first corporate job he quit in disgust, vowing he would never again work for anyone else. He started his own firm in his basement and didn’t look back. He became wealthy enough to create the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation with a multibillion-dollar endowment, making it one of the larger grantmakers in the U.S. Its mission is “to help individuals attain economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success, consistent with the aspirations of our founder.”

The foundation has conducted much research to advance “the science of entrepreneurship.” Its signature effort FastTrac is a practical training, networking, and mentoring program that helps men and women with ideas launch new businesses. More than 350,000 individuals have taken the course over the last two decades. In the words of former Kauffman president Carl Schramm, “every time we help an entrepreneur take the risk of starting a business, we strengthen the American economy.”