From the Good Ideas File: What do entrepreneurs need from local governments?

This article isn’t going to win any Pulitzer prizes, but it contains a couple of very brief but important points about what small businesses (and entrepreneurs, which aren’t quite the same but there’s a lot of overlap) need from local governments.  If you’ve been fed a steady stream of low-taxes-small-government-give-incentives, this might not be what you expected:

Referring to a survey, Al Rasheed said entrepreneurs are looking for places that have talent, a good quality of life and access to markets. On the bottom of their wish list are low taxes and ease of doing business, he said.

And this from Julie Lein of Tumml, one of the coolest accelerators for urban businesses out there:

Lein said entrepreneurs want access to civic leaders as well as help in navigating complex business regulations.

Like most things, summarizing the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses into a couple of sentences isn’t likely to be fully accurate – it’s a whole lot more complex picture than that.  But note the things that were named here:

  • Quality of life
  • Market access
  • Connections to leadership
  • Help navigating the system (not necessarily a special pass, but help)

I was particularly excited to see this because I’m teaching a webinar for Lorman later in July entitled

Leaders or Feeders: What Governments Can Do To Help Grow Small Businesses.  

And since I brought it up (ahem), here’s the description:

Government officials and elected leaders are facing intense pressure to demonstrate job growth, but conventional big business recruitment efforts involve large budget and staff time commitments – and seldom pay off. Governments are increasingly seeing a need to focus economic development efforts on small business growth, but they soon discover that the same methods cannot be applied – that small businesses have very different needs and expectations. This live webinar will help you get inside the mind of a small business owner and understand their assumptions and challenges. We will then examine methods being used by large and small communities across the country to help support small business growth by providing relatively low-cost types of assistance. These “feeder” types of assistance focus on cultivating a robust, highly interconnected small business environment that can catalyze growth faster than conventional methods. We will also examine effective roles that governments can play in actively changing a community’s small business environment through targeted efforts that make the best use of governments’ strengths and capacities.

Sound good? It actually does get better:

If you or any of your colleagues, friends, acquaintances or random strangers sign up for this webinar, you can get it for 50% off the usual price! 

Just use this code at checkout: T8587836

I hope you’ll join me!

And check out Tumml.  Seriously, they rock.


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