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Federal Policy in Support of Entrepreneurship: What is the Role? Deborah M. Markley Co-Director RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship Striking the Right Notes on Entrepreneurship Memphis, Tennessee April 20, 2005
Helping Rural America Realize Its Entrepreneurial Potential
Historical Context for National Policy in Support of Entrepreneurship • American Formula for Growth, National Commission on Entrepreneurship (2002). • Looked at 1948-1998 period of “entrepreneurial revolution” in the U.S. – rise of entrepreneurial growth companies (EGCs). • Asked a basic question – did public policy have anything to do with the rise of this entrepreneurial economy?
Yes – Five Key Ingredients • Creating financial markets to fund EGCs. • Providing R&D/intellectual property protection for technologies that underlie many EGCs. • Investing in technically talented people and allowing them to move to EGCs. • Opening new markets and easing entry for EGCs. • Establishing a robust and dependable infrastructure.
Recommendations for Future National Policy Role • Entrepreneurial Hippocratic Oath – do no harm to the current formula; no unintended consequences. • Best role – set up the “rules of the game” and continue to evolve and perfect the formula through innovative, “entrepreneurial” policy making.
Appropriate Role for National Policy – SSTI • Supporting basic research. • Encouraging commercialization of research. • Improving the competitiveness of regions (including rural). • Catalyzing action on state and local levels.
Role for National Policy – View from the Field • What is the appropriate role for national policy viewed from the perspective of communities and states that are actively supporting entrepreneurship? • Is there a rural differential when it comes to national policy and entrepreneurship?
National Policies in Support of Entrepreneurship • Current national policies/programs states and communities are using to support entrepreneurship. • Level of commitment to continue these programs in the future.
Current Federal Policies: Technical Assistance Technical Assistance to Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses: • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) • Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Current Federal Policies: Education and Programs Entrepreneurship Education and other Program Support: • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) • USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise and Opportunity Grants (RBEG, RBOG) • WorkforceInvestment Act (WIA)
Current Federal Policies: Financial Capital Financing and Capital Access for Entrepreneurs: • Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) • New Markets Tax Credits • SBA Micro Loan Program
FY2006 Budget Requests for these Programs • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) – cut • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) - level • Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) - level • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – zeroed out as part of Strengthening America’s Communities
USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise and Opportunity Grants (RBEG, RBOG) – zeroed out • WorkforceInvestment Act (WIA) – consolidated and cut • Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) – zeroed out • New Markets Tax Credits – phased out • SBA Micro Loan Program – zeroed out
Final Thoughts on National Policy in Support of Entrepreneurship • States and local communities are responding with new policies and programs to support entrepreneurs as a key strategy for building sustainable economies. • National commitment in terms of policy and programs is lacking. • Rural differential in entrepreneurship exists – rural communities face additional obstacles to supporting entrepreneurs.
Final Thoughts – cont’d. • Proposed cuts to national policies and programs accentuate this rural differential – rural communities with more limited capacity rely on these resources. • Only part of the picture – looking only at programs specific to entrepreneurship. • If we look from 1998-2048, will we see the same positive role for public policy in contributing to an entrepreneurial economy?
Contact Information • Deb Markley, Co-Director firstname.lastname@example.org • Don Macke, Co-Director email@example.com • Brian Dabson, Co-Director firstname.lastname@example.org • RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurshiphttp://www.ruraleship.org