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NIST Celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week

What is National Entrepreneurship (NatlEshipWeek) Week? 

Celebrated February 10-17, 2024, “NatlEshipWeek is a congressionally chartered week dedicated to empowering entrepreneurship across the United States. The annual initiative was relaunched in 2017 as NatlEshipWeek to bring together a network of partners from Maui to Miami to educate, engage, and build equitable access to America's Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.” Follow along online with #NatlEshipWeek. You can learn more about the initiative here:

Supporting Entrepreneurship is at the Heart of NIST’s Mission

NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

The small business community is vast, diverse, and a critical source of innovation. To give you an idea: 

  • 99.9% of businesses in America are classified as small businesses [1].
  • Small businesses that engage in R&D generate more patents per employee than larger businesses [2].

One of NIST’s core values is inclusivity. We work collaboratively to harness the diversity of people and ideas, both inside and outside of NIST, to attain the best solutions to multidisciplinary challenges. As NIST works across its diverse portfolio to address current and emerging areas of research, our mission cannot be achieved without engaging the entrepreneurial ecosystem (innovators, builders, leaders, support infrastructure) in our work. Below are a few ways entrepreneurs can both engage with NIST and also leverage our guidance to mitigate their cybersecurity risks to protect their business and critical assets:

How Entrepreneurs Can Contribute to NIST’s Cybersecurity Work

  • Join the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Community of Interest to share business insights, expertise, challenges, and perspectives to guide our work and assist NIST in addressing the cybersecurity needs of the small business community. 
  • Lend your expertise by submitting comments on our publications. Public comment periods are a critical component of NIST’s open, transparent, collaborative process. 
  • Become a collaborator on a National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) project. Opportunities to collaborate are announced via a Federal Register Notice, which explains the technical capabilities the project seeks to achieve, and how organizations can become collaborators. 
  • Attend an event to network with peers and learn more about NIST’s active cybersecurity research portfolio. 
  • Work with NIST in a variety of ways. To help accomplish its mission, NIST seeks out high-quality partnerships, collaborations, and other interactions with U.S. companies, universities, and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Submit a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Proposal. NIST is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, a source of non-dilutive capital for domestic small businesses. The program engages small, innovative research and development (R&D)-focused businesses in Federal R&D, with the potential for commercialization.
  • Do business with NIST as a vendor/contractor. Within the Office of Acquisition and Agreements Management (OAAM)/Acquisition Management Division (AMD), the NIST Small Business Specialist is an advocate who seeks to create and foster the use of small, small disadvantaged, 8(a), women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone small businesses within the Federal Acquisition Regulation acquisition process.  NIST is a bureau of the Department of Commerce; check the acquisition forecast, it’s updated weekly. The Small Business Specialist is available for meetings and can be contacted directly by email at Jo-Lynn.Davis [at] (Jo-Lynn[dot]Davis[at]nist[dot]gov).

How Entrepreneurs can Consume Our Work

  • The NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Corner is a resource library that offers videos, planning guides, case studies, topical guidance (e.g., ransomware, phishing, and teleworking), and important information that small businesses can put into action to protect their business from cyber criminals.
  • The Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC) has information on many of NIST's cybersecurity and information security-related projects, publications, news, and events.

Upcoming Small Business Event

Have a question, comment, or idea? Reach out to the NIST small business team: smallbizsecurity [at] (smallbizsecurity[at]nist[dot]gov).


[1] Statistic from the Small Business Administration

[2] Small Business Innovation Measured by Patenting Activity, U.S. Small Business Administration

About the author

Daniel Eliot

Daniel Eliot is the lead for small business engagement within the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Applied Cybersecurity Division. In this role, he works across NIST's cybersecurity and privacy program to advise and support development of cybersecurity resources, communication materials, and collateral tailored for use by small businesses. He also regularly works directly with the small business community and their advocates through external outreach and engagement. 


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