West Wing Briefing

Obama to announce campaign to increase investment in start-ups, small businesses

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Monday, January 31, 2011; 9:53 AM

The Obama administration, continuing its recent pro-business push, is launching a new campaign Monday to increase investment in start-up companies and small businesses.

The White House has enlisted Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, and Carl Schramm, who runs a group that encourages entrepreneurship called the Kaufman Foundation, to head the "Startup America Partnership." The two men will lead a privately funded board that will encourage large companies and foundations to provide seed money to start-ups.

The Obama administration Monday also will announce a series of ideas to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship that it will include in its federal budget proposal to be released Feb. 14.

The entrepreneurship initiative is the latest move in the White House's recent effort to strengthen its alliance with the business community. President Obama recently tapped the chief executive of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, to head a newly formed council on job creation and announced his administration would actively look to get rid of any regulations that stop businesses from hiring.

The entrepreneurship proposals, like much of Obama's new economic agenda, won't pump hundreds of billions into the economy like last year's stimulus bill, and it's not clear they will inspire businesses to hire more workers and therefore reduce unemployment.

A highly anticipated round of golf

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) says he's willing to join the president on the golf course, telling CBS's Bob Schieffer "of course" when asked Sunday about hitting the links with Obama. White House adviser David Axelrod, in an interview over the weekend, said Obama was open to the idea as well.

The fact that golf questions are being asked in February illustrates the curiosity in Washington about the relationship between the House speaker and the president. It will be interesting if they ever actually hit the links together this spring, as both men generally play golf with close friends, not to build new political alliances.

Obama today

The president has no scheduled events but is likely to continue closely monitoring the situation in Egypt, as he did much of the weekend.

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