Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship

Growing Sustainable Communities Through Entrepreneurship.

Why a Mayors Conference?

By increasing entrepreneurship, you are able to build a more sustainable, supportive community.

The Current State of Affairs

A rapidly changing economy and inequality were persistent issues before this unprecedented economic crisis and world-wide pandemic. Despite a healthy stock market, entrepreneurship remained stagnant for decades. Policy has continued to prioritize big, established businesses over new businesses. Because of these failures, we now find ourselves in a crisis where the large and savvy companies receive swift and comprehensive relief while small businesses are left to fight for a few weeks worth of support. 

We know communities are hurting and struggling due to this pandemic. What was lacking before is now amplified tenfold and the need for action is blindingly present. With an uncertain future, we must push forward and start toward recovery and an equal playing field.

To create new jobs, build resilient local economies, and include more people in the economy, we must reverse unfair policy and trends in communities nationwide. If we do not act quickly and intelligently for entrepreneurs in the coming months, our economy–if it ever does recover–will be more exclusive and truly feel like a winner-take-all scenario.

What will we focus on this year?

For eight years, The Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship has gathered Mayors to help them understand the importance of entrepreneurs to their local economies. Entrepreneurs create new jobs and provide vibrancy and energy to any community. However, not everyone has been given the same opportunities to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas.

At the Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, mayors and elected officials from across the country will come together to learn about the programs, policies, and practices they chose that can create sustainable and inclusive economic growth in their communities. Cities will be introduced to these initiatives prior to the conference and be asked at the conference to formalize their commitment to the year-long technical assistance program known as the City Innovation Ecosystem Program. These initiatives have the same action plan as America’s New Business Plan, our bipartisan plan for policymakers:

Lowering barriers to success for all people in our communities is not merely a moral imperative, but a critical component of future success for every elected official – especially mayors, and especially now.

Who is the Mayors Conference for?

Returning mayors, newly elected mayors, and mayors who may be new to supporting entrepreneurship are all welcome. If you are looking to sustainably grow your local community through entrepreneurship, this is the place for you. 

It is our hope that a virtual conference provides less barriers and more opportunities to make the content accessible to a wider variety of people. In that spirit, we’d like for you to bring a support person who will help you implement your chosen program, policy and practice.

Initiative Support: National League of Cities

Mayors will commit to a program, policy, or practice that will improve their local economy by supporting entrepreneurship and economic development in their community. Starting with the Virtual Kickoff Event on July 1, mayors will work with the National League of Cities (NLC) to fulfill that initiative commitment as a part of a year-long technical assistance program called the City Innovation Ecosystem Program. The Virtual Kickoff Event will serve as a milestone in the program year.

After selecting an initiative to implement in your city, you will be introduced to your commitment throughout the summer and asked for formalize your commitment at the Mayors Conference – officially entering you into the City Innovation Ecosystem Program. Once you formalize your commitment, you will receive continued guidance and support from NLC to make your initiative a reality in your community. NLC will support you through consultation, planning, technical support, and potentially even financial assistance in the upcoming year. Mayors will also work closely with entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, researchers, and others to develop the best possible outcomes for their communities.

The National League of Cities (NLC) supports mayors around the country in increasing their organizational capacity and providing technical support to communities looking to increase their ability to support entrepreneurs. The NLC’s combined experience will support the implementation of programs, policies, and practices to improve cities’ ecosystems around the country. We have the opportunity to celebrate –and accelerate– community growth through entrepreneurship.

Together, we can better understand how to build thriving communities and drive economic development through entrepreneurship.

If you love Mayors you won't want to miss ESHIP Summit!

What is the ESHIP Summit and what is my role there?

Mayors Conference attendees are invited to participate in the ESHIP Summit on September 15-16. Just like Mayors Conference attendees, ESHIP attendees are focused on growing entrepreneurial ecosystems in their communities. Mayors will interact directly with ecosystem builders from around the country. 

At this year’s ESHIP Summit, each individual will explore new ways they can collaborate to fortify their local entrepreneurial ecosystem or solve a problem that’s limiting their communities entrepreneurial potential. As a participating mayor, you’ll be connected to those individuals attending that may represent your community.

Ecosystem builders, mayors, and community members will come together to look at how implementing particular programs, policies, and practices can have a positive impact on their community.

By connecting with ESHIP Summit attendees, you may also find opportunities to learn about the roles of other people in your community looking to support entrepreneurship. If you are interested in attending the ESHIP Summit, please indicate that on your registration and we will reach out with more information.

Program Highlights

Taking Positive Action. Gain Actionable Insights. Increase Entrepreneurial Success.