Core Research Areas

The institute's work on entrepreneurship focuses on barriers to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking, particularly within communities traditionally underrepresented among the ranks of entrepreneurs. Our current work, funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, conducts research with high school students, nascent entrepreneurs, and small business owners in five cities to understand the most persistent obstacles and to find solutions to unlock latent potential and create equality of access to opportunities and outcomes. In addition, the Institute focuses on entrepreneurship as a way to solve social problems.

Urban communities depend on their natural environments, and they impact nature in many ways. These relationships are especially important in New Orleans—a city threatened by rising temperatures and sea levels, chemical and nutrient pollution, storm-related flooding, and the loss of wildlife habitats. The Urban Entrepreneurship and Policy Institute supports research, teaching, and on-campus programming to advance our understanding of the environmental issues that shape our lives.

Decisions made by police, prosecutors, judges, legislators, and other actors in the criminal justice system play a significant role in shaping the cities we live in. This is especially true in New Orleans, whose police department has been an early adopter of controversial technologies like COMSTAT (now MAX), predictive policing algorithms, public-private surveillance partnerships, and photo traffic enforcement, and whose crime rate nevertheless remains relatively high. The Urban Entrepreneurship and Policy Institute conducts and supports interdisciplinary research and pedagogy regarding local, national, and global criminal justice issues.