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What makes leaders effective in an environment that is rapidly changing, volatile, and unpredictable? And what makes those effective leaders get the most out of life?


There's value in wading through junk—or through venues historically viewed as all the “wrong places”—to realize breakthrough insights and innovations.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to offer the latest in research from a number of notable thought leaders.  Discover a variety of topics including transportation, austerity, women in business, tourism and healthcare.

March 27, 2014
The Center for Women in Business is pleased to present our latest research highlighting the growing impact of women entrepreneurs and small business owners on the American economy. We look at how women like Fulton, Ambrose-Burbank, and Brown are reshaping the entrepreneurial landscape. In particular, we examine the “1099 economy” and the women who have started their own micro-enterprises either out of choice or necessity. The research also provides powerful examples of systems and programs that encourage and support women’s business initiatives in communities around the United States.
Though this report is a mere snapshot of what is going on in our nation, we are sure you will agree that women are impacting how business gets done in America.
March 20, 2014

What are the most pressing energy and water problems facing society? How is the private sector addressing these challenges?

These questions and more are the focus of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center publication, Achieving Energy and Water Security: Scalable Solutions from the Private Sector. Featuring more than 25 business success stories, the report shows how companies solve energy and water challenges in their operations and supply chains.

To view more information and the full report, click here.

February 5, 2014


Prizes are among the most effective—and overlooked—tools for incentivizing breakthrough solutions to the thorniest problems we know. They have existed since the dawn of man. As modern civilization has grown, prizes have become a tool for incentivizing progress. Yet it has been only in the past few centuries that we have come to view prizes institutionally, channeling human nature toward valuable endeavors.

Prizes are wrapped up in a quest for prosperity and economic growth, which, in turn, depend on the development of new ways of working, living, and thinking—in short, innovation. What we invest in innovation, however, often falls short of what would be justified by the social benefit. Innovators know that, absent external incentives, they at best gain only 2% of the total value of their work. The rest goes to other producers and consumers.

We need to incorporate more market gain into the personal incentive to innovate. Intellectual property does so by rewarding innovators with ownership of their work and a share of its value over time. Prizes also act as incentives by aiming to bring forward a share of future gains from innovation into the present, often while releasing ownership of the work to the public.

January 27, 2014

Americans generally agree that they want their nation to remain the global leader in manufacturing. According to Leadership Wanted: U.S. Public Opinions on Manufacturing, a 2012 national survey, 90% of respondents rated manufacturing as “important” or “very important” for their economic prosperity and America’s standard of living. This survey reinforces the importance of the manufacturing sector to the good health of the American economy.

While continuing to expand its productivity over the last two years, the U.S. manufacturing sector has only modestly expanded its employment base. Since December 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported an increase of 231,000 manufacturing jobs, for a total of 12,028,000 employed in the sector. Yet the need to develop a long-term, stable supply of next-generation employees for advanced manufacturing industries is a challenge that needs to be undertaken now—not later. With an anticipated surge in retirements from an aging workforce over the next few years, the demand for high-skilled workers will be needed for replacement and continued expansion.

January 16, 2014
A sputtering economic recovery and fascination with smart city initiatives in recent years has renewed questions about how to build cohesive, vibrant entrepreneurial communities. How do leaders create cities that thrive? What does an innovation ecosystem look like within a city or region? Are certain ecosystems more suited to prosper than others?
These questions are changing the way leaders plan and reinvent communities. The classic model of planning relies on “chasing smokestacks,” in which planners aim to coax large established companies or factories from afar to relocate to their region. For example, Wisconsin state and local governments recently helped persuade lighting company Kenall Manufacturing to move from Illinois to Wisconsin through attractive incentive packages, including an offering of $1 million from Kenosha County.
While chasing smokestacks may present short-term benefits in terms of political attention or highly visual investment, this model doesn’t necessarily encourage longer-term value creation or significant economic spillovers.