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The 3-Legged Stool of Entrepreneurship. Dr. Deborah M. Markley Co-Director RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and Dr. Sam Cordes Purdue University. Why are we talking about entrepreneurship?.

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the 3 legged stool of entrepreneurship

The 3-Legged Stool of Entrepreneurship

Dr. Deborah M. Markley


RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship


Dr. Sam Cordes

Purdue University

7th Annual National

Value-Added Ag Conference

Indianapolis, Indiana

June 16-17, 2005

why are we talking about entrepreneurship
Why are we talking about entrepreneurship?
  • “Part of our mission … is to challenge the old assumptions, stretch our thinking, and provide new tools and methods in order to improve our effectiveness with those we serve.” conference brochure
  • Rural leaders are looking for ways to re-energize local economies and bring hope to community residents.
  • Many leaders recognize the limited returns from traditional ED approaches and are considering new “grow from within” or entrepreneurship strategies.
making the case for entrepreneurship
Making the Case for Entrepreneurship
  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Project ( – comparative international study concludes:
    • Positive and significant relationship between entrepreneurial activity and economic growth
    • No countries with high levels of entrepreneurial activity have low levels of economic growth
making the case cont d
Making the Case – cont’d.
  • National Commission on Entrepreneurship report (Embracing Innovation: Entrepreneurship and American Economic Growth):
    • Small entrepreneurs responsible for 67% of inventions and 95% of radical innovations since WWII
    • Small group of high growth entrepreneurs (5-15% of all firms) created 2/3 of net new jobs in late 1990s
  • 1997-2001, 2.2 million nonemployee firms added in U.S., 31% increase in sales (Census).
making the case cont d5
Making the Case – cont’d.
  • Panel Study on Entrepreneurial Dynamics (Kauffman Foundation) found:
    • At any time, 10 million Americans engaged in starting a business
    • Gender and racial differences (men twice as likely and African Americans twice as likely to start businesses)
    • Place matters: Rates of entrepreneurship higher in urban than rural
what about rural entrepreneurship
What about rural entrepreneurship?
  • NCOE and CFED Mapping Rural Entrepreneurship found:
    • Entrepreneurial Growth Companies in all regions
    • Hot spots of entrepreneurship activity across rural America (Nebraska, Kentucky)
  • RUPRI Center’s work suggests:
    • Fewer entrepreneurs in rural places
    • Less well developed systems of support
    • But, examples of successful entrepreneurship development initiatives across rural America
new way of thinking about economic development
New Way of Thinking about Economic Development
  • Entrepreneurship as the bedrock for economic development.
  • Creating an entrepreneur-friendly community/region/state makes it easier to attract and retain industry and other business.
  • Entrepreneur-friendly relates to both business and community environment.

Talk about what we’ve learned from those rural places that are adopting this new way of thinking.

what is the 3 legged stool
What Is the 3-Legged Stool?
  • The Entrepreneur
  • The Business
  • The Community Culture and Context
successful entrepreneurship development programs
Successful Entrepreneurship Development Programs…
  • Focus on entrepreneurs – understanding entrepreneurial talent
    • Potential entrepreneurs
    • Existing business owners
    • Entrepreneurs

Nebraska’s Home Town Competitiveness program

successful entrepreneurship development programs10
Successful Entrepreneurship Development Programs…
  • Build on assets
    • Traditional economic development assets – sites, utilities, etc.)
    • Non-traditional assets – high speed Internet, quality of life features, access to lifelong learning resources, etc.
    • Entrepreneurs as assets!
successful entrepreneurship development programs11
Successful Entrepreneurship Development Programs…
  • Encourage collaboration
    • Public
    • Private
    • Non-profit

North Carolina’s Business Resource Alliance

Kellogg Foundation Entrepreneurship Development Systems grant competition

successful entrepreneurship development programs12
Successful Entrepreneurship Development Programs…
  • Strategically target entrepreneurs
    • No “one size fits all” approach
    • Target to specifically address community’s or region’s entrepreneurial talent
    • Target for early success

Entrepreneurial League System® (West Virginia)

creating an entrepreneurial culture
Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture
  • Entrepreneurship development is about more than helping entrepreneurs start businesses.
  • Need to embed those businesses in supportive community environment.
  • Successful initiatives do this by…
    • Engaging youth
    • Celebrating success
engaging youth
Engaging Youth
  • Gallop poll: 69% of high school students want to start a business; 84% are not prepared to do so!
  • Proven resources: REAL Enterprises (, BizTech (, Mini-Society (Kauffman Foundation)
  • WV’s Dreamquest High School Business Plan Competition (

Youth can be powerful change agents!

celebrating success
Celebrating Success
  • Celebrate to reinforce cultural change
  • Celebrate to maintain and build momentum
  • Celebrate to influence policy makers
  • Joint Ribbon Cuttings
  • Business Plan Competitions
  • Fairfield, Iowa
    • E of the Year, E Hall of Fame, “Silicorn Valley”, Fairfield Business Showcase
preparing the bed for entrepreneurship
Preparing the Bed for Entrepreneurship
  • It’s all about the entrepreneurs – this is as much a human development process as a business development process.
  • Entrepreneurship development is about helping entrepreneurs embark and move forward with the creative process.
  • But…
it takes a system to grow an entrepreneur
It takes a system to grow an entrepreneur!
  • This system of support includes…
    • People who can direct entrepreneurs to the right services
    • People who can help an innovative entrepreneur turn an idea into a viable business plan
    • People who can identify management weaknesses and help build an entrepreneurial team
    • People who can work with entrepreneurs to develop skills, such as financial skills
    • People who can help identify market opportunities
    • People who can excite young people about entrepreneurship
going forth
Going Forth
  • Remaining sessions at this conference will help you…
    • Better understand the skills needed to work directly with entrepreneurs to help them grow
    • Better understand the skills and tools needed to prepare the community bed in which these entrepreneurs will grow
  • The RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship is ready to help!
for more information
For More Information
  • Deb Markley, Co-Director
  • Don Macke, Co-Director
  • Brian Dabson, Co-Director