As 2015 comes to a close, I wanted to share some great news. Code for America is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and National League of Cities (NLC) on Startup in a Day. Our collective goal: make it easier for entrepreneurs to work through government processes to start a business.
This objective has been a core tenet of the Economic Development Focus Area since we formally launched earlier in the year. Improving the experience of entrepreneurs looking to start a business has been a consistent element of Code for America’s work dating back to 2012 (think OpenCounter, Primer Peso, and Biz.Friendly). SBA and NLC share our commitment to improving the interaction between local governments and small businesses by better understanding and addressing the needs of their users. We all see the role technology can play in better delivering this set of services.
What We’re Doing
In expanding the collaboration, Code for America will provide content and resources to the 28 jurisdictions that received prize money through the Start Small and Dream Big challenges, as well as the more than 50 additional governments that have taken the Startup in a Day pledge to better support entrepreneurs. We’ll also document how a number of the winning cities take steps toward improving entrepreneurs’ experiences in their jurisdictions.
Since launching Startup in a Day with SBA in August, NLC has convened the cities in a community of practice and each city is eager to learn from each other and build upon successful practices.
Beyond supporting the community of practice, Code for America is working directly with some of the Startup in a Day cities. In Oakland, CA, we’re helping a number of city departments to map the process of opening a variety of businesses with an eye toward improving how information is shared on the city’s website. We’re also partnering with the City of Long Beach, CA on a 2016 Fellowship project to help entrepreneurs better navigate the resources on business registration, licensing, and financing processes.
All of these efforts come back to the core of our Economic Development Focus Area: growing the economic pie through democratizing access to information, resources, and services.
How You Can Get Involved
Your city can still join the Startup in a Day community. It’s easy to take the pledge and more cities are joining every week. Learn more about taking the pledge by visiting SBA’s website. For information on how your city or Native American community can take the pledge, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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