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There is general agreement that the United States and indeed much of the industrialized world has suffered from a historically slow recovery from the recession of 2008-09. Agreement ends, however, when the discussion moves to explaining why the recovery has been slow and thus how best to improve economic growth. While the likelihood of one single silver bullet solution is almost zero, it is important to better understand one of the likely causes of the slow recovery that has to-date received little attention.

Most observers agree that entrepreneurs and small businesses play a vital role in the economy and yet little attention has been focused on their performance in the economic recovery. The Fraser Institute proposes to undertake a research and education initiative aimed at better understanding the role entrepreneurs and small businesses have played in the economy with particular emphasis on their role in the current recovery.

Specifically, the Institute is proposing to undertake a research and education initiative that will culminate in the publications and promotion of a collected essays series by internationally recognized scholars. The essays will connect here to-date unconnected aspects of the sluggish economic recovery: (1) the role of entrepreneurship and small businesses in promoting economic growth and prosperity, (2) the link of economic freedom with entrepreneurship and small businesses, (3) the decline of economic freedom in the U.S. and its impact on entrepreneurs and small businesses, and thus the economic recovery.

In addition to the five essays, the collected volume will contain a readily accessible, non-technical summary of the essays for average readers. The project will be promoted aggressively using both traditional and new media.