Governor Mike Pence, joined by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, today announced the realignment of state efforts to serve entrepreneurs and small business owners with the establishment of the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE). The Governor signed Executive Order 13-17 today to establish the agency.
The office will house the Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) and specialty programs, providing integrated resources and consulting services to Hoosier businesses with fewer than 500 employees. ISBDC has been a strong advocate for small business for more than 20 years, while PTAC specifically assists businesses to compete in the government-contracting marketplace.
"New and young companies are the backbone of Indiana's economy and the primary engine of job growth," said Governor Pence. "Our economic strength as a state relies heavily on startups, other young companies and small businesses. The Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship will put a focus on small business needs and help to make Indiana the best place to start and grow a business in America."
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will oversee the agency and joins several state agencies already engaged in support of small business enterprise.
"Our teams at the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), Indiana Housing and Community Development (IHCDA), the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD) are already providing outreach and opportunities for Indiana small businesses," said Ellspermann. "We believe the synergies created by our cross collaborations will foster greater capacity building for individuals and their communities as they explore new ways to create jobs and expand."
OSBE will focus on business consulting, specialty programming, and integrating universities, private sector business and government stakeholders. A newly-created business ombudsman will help to streamline state programs, licensing and permitting processes.
The agency's overall goal is to develop an entrepreneurial climate for new talent and business opportunities, attracting both human and financial capital to Indiana.
Ellspermann has appointed Jacob Schpok as the Executive Director of the new agency. Schpok is a graduate of Ball State's nationally recognized entrepreneurship program and has been with ISBDC since 2005, serving as director since 2011.