Entrepreneurship Initiatives For Recovery and Growth

This webinar series highlights state initiatives that promote entrepreneurship as a strategy for expanding access to economic opportunity and supporting stronger economic recovery and growth. Specifically, this four-part series will examine how states are supporting entrepreneurship by expanding access to capital, access to opportunity, access to knowledge, and access to support. The series is hosted by the NGA Center for Best Practices and sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.


Access to Capital

This July 27, 2021 webinar looks at successful state initiatives that are leading to increased capital flowing to entrepreneurs. State-supported efforts in Arizona are providing access to capital through venture capital attraction, programs for venture partnering, corporate venture development, an innovation challenge, accelerator initiatives, angel investment and many other initiatives. You also hear about how Nevada is planning its state structure for the current version of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) created by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, for which state program designs are due to Treasury this December. The head of Nevada’s SSBCI venture capital program describes the state’s objectives with SSBCI 2.0 and how the new program will compare with the previous SSBCI 1.0.

Speakers

  • Jason Wiens, Policy Director in Entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • David Chase, Vice President, Outreach, Small Business Majority
  • Andrew Lombard, Executive VP Innovation, Venture Development & Small Business, Arizona Commerce Authority
  • Karsten Heise, Director, Strategic Programs, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  • Welcome: Rachael Stephens, Program Director, Workforce Development & Economic Policy, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Moderator: Sally Rood, Senior Policy Analyst, Workforce Development & Economic Policy

Access to Opportunity

This October 7, 2021 webinar featured an interactive panel discussion led by Jason Wiens at the Kauffman Foundation, with the conversation focusing on two kinds of barriers to entrepreneurship: non-compete agreements and occupational licensing. The Utah Department of Commerce is a leader in dismantling barriers to occupational licensing in order to open more opportunities for work. Recently, it created an endorsement system for licensees coming from another state and opened pathways to licensure for people with criminal histories. It is now in the process of establishing a systematic process for reviewing licensing and the possibility of more “micro”-licenses. The conversation also focused on how non-compete agreements limit mobility and entrepreneurship and will discuss how a number of states, including Illinois, have limited non-compete usage through litigation and legislative reforms as described in the State Policymaker’s Guide to Non-Compete Reform from Economic Innovation Group.

Speakers

  • Margaret Busse, Executive Director, Utah Department of Commerce
  • Jane Flanagan, Deputy General Counsel, Illinois Governor’s Office
  • Kenan Fikri, Director for Research, Economic Innovation Group
  • Moderator: Jason Wiens, Policy Director in Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation
  • Welcome: Rachael Stephens, Program Director, Workforce Development & Economic Policy, NGA Center for Best Practices

Access to Knowledge

In this November 4, 2021 webinar participants heard about national, state and local partnership efforts to help connect aspiring entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented and underserved backgrounds to entrepreneurial pathways, including access to training and mentoring on entrepreneurship skills and finance know-how. They also heard about efforts to scale and sustain related programs and partnerships through better alignment of federal and state efforts for strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems. Featured panelists shared their work, lessons learned, and perspectives from the local, state, and national levels with examples from California, Georgia, and Minnesota.

Speakers

  • Neela Mollgaard, Executive Director, Launch Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
  • Yelena Nemoy, Senior Program Manager, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
  • Introductions: Jason Wiens, Policy Director in Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation
  • Welcome: Rachael Stephens, Program Director, Workforce Development & Economic Policy, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Moderator: Loren Shimanek, Senior Policy Analyst, Workforce Development & Economic Policy

The fourth webinar in the series will be on Access to Support. Please contact Sally Rood, srood@nga.org with any questions.