Entrepreneurship is an engine of business, and it is as important as ever as the economy continues to try for a full recovery. Check these sites designed for people who start companies.

Start-ups. The economy may be ripe for a new wave of start-up companies, says the entrepreneurship-boosting Kauffman Foundation. That's an especially good thing because "start-ups and young companies dominate net job creation in the United States - and have done so for the last 30 years," the foundation reports. Few companies exist for longer than a generation, so it's vital to keep getting new ones off the ground. The foundation has educational and research material for fostering such growth.

Entrepreneurship resources. The Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Commerce Department's International Trade Administration operate this site with a good list of government and nonprofit groups that promote entrepreneurship, economic development, and other initiatives around the world. Visiting the site can broaden your horizons with a glimpse of the potential for taking even a small business outside the U.S. boundary.

Here is a treasure. Academic Earth is posting video lectures - fifteen hundred of them so far from schools including MIT, Harvard, and Yale - that anyone can watch for free. The video courses cover an extraordinary range of topics, such as art, astronomy, computer science, law, and psychology. This entrepreneurship page has more than a dozen courses by business leaders.

Teaching entrepreneurship. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship helps teachers encourage youngsters in low-income communities to learn to start and build businesses. Its programs include curricula for classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. It also runs business-plan competitions that reward winners with grants for college or business start-up expenses. The group also recruits entrepreneurs to volunteer as speakers and competition judges.

Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com.