Getting Local and State Governments Involved

What We Learned

One way to create a more sustainable entrepreneurial environment is to put into place policies that will support your efforts over the long term. These policies can help to make permanent a focus on entrepreneurship as a development strategy in your community, and to help eliminate some of the obstacles that entrepreneurs face as they start and grow their businesses. What we learned from our exploration is that examples of policy change from across the country can provide insights to guide your work in communities and across the state.

When we talk about policy in support of entrepreneurship, for the most part we are focused on change at the local and state levels. Local leaders have little influence over federal policy decisions that affect their entrepreneurs; policy decisions at the local level, in contrast, can make a big difference. In an assessment of the entrepreneur and small business policy environment in Kentucky, Brian Dabson and Deborah Markley identified three roles for state policy makers that also apply to local officials:

Policy innovations are varied individual communities and states. An assessment of the entrepreneurship work of six collaboratives across the U.S., sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation, provides useful examples and lessons learned from other policy innovations that you might want to consider.

Getting Local and State Governments Involved