To streamline and bolster business development in the Commonwealth, the Cabinet for Economic Development has created the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Cabinet's Department for Business Development. The office will enhance existing efforts to help businesses at every step of the growth cycle.
"Small and young companies are vital to our economic health, not just in Kentucky, but across the United States," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "By helping entrepreneurs early and broadly and by promoting innovation and entrepreneurial activity, we can improve Kentucky's competitive position in the world and enhance job creation at the same time."
The overall goal of the Office of Entrepreneurship will be to develop an entrepreneurial climate for new talent in Kentucky; provide guidance and support to start-up operations; assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities; and to create a pipeline of business activity that can be streamlined with the traditional growth opportunities the Cabinet already offers to encourage job and investment creation in the Commonwealth.
"As part of our comprehensive economic development strategic plan, we are making a concerted effort to enhance the vital role small businesses and entrepreneurs play in Kentucky's economic growth," said Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes. "We work with many partners to help all businesses grow and succeed here in Kentucky, and the Office of Entrepreneurship will draw from many resources to utilize collaboration and teamwork across the Commonwealth."
The office will oversee the Kentucky Innovation Network, which now includes 10 Innovation and Commercialization Centers (ICCs) and two satellite offices. The office will also guide the Cabinet's extensive resources for small and new businesses, as well as innovative and high-tech companies, with funding, marketing assistance, advocacy and resource referrals available along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage new investment and job creation.
"The Office of Entrepreneurship will play a key role in our overall business development strategy," said Erik Dunnigan, Commissioner of Business Development and Interim Executive Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship. "By closely linking all of our entrepreneurial and small business development efforts with our existing business recruitment and expansion activities, we'll be better able to serve clients at all ends of the growth spectrum."
Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet's "This is My Kentucky" video on YouTube.