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March 21, 2014

Arizona State Leaders Can Learn More About Entrepreneurship

LEXINGTON, Ky.--The issues state leaders from across the political spectrum can agree on are rare, but the promotion and cultivation of homegrown entrepreneurs might just be one of them. To engage policymakers in a conversation about entrepreneurship, The Council of State Governments and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation have partnered to present a special half-day session for state policymakers in the executive tower at the state capitol in Arizona March 24. This is one of four sessions CSG and the Kauffman Foundation will present around the country.

State leaders know entrepreneurs not only create jobs, but also contribute to an increase in wages and standards of living.

"The formation and growth of new businesses is the fundamental source of job creation and innovation in every U.S. state," said Dane Stangler, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, the 2014 chair of The Council of State Governments, has made jobs and economic development a major part of the yearlong CSG leaders' initiative, "State Pathways to Prosperity."

"Entrepreneurship is one of the keys to economic development," Norris said. "It facilitates new business, which, in turn, facilitates jobs. It's a key component in our workforce development initiative. Entrepreneurship is another pathway to prosperity."

Yasuyuki Motoyama, a senior scholar for policy and research at the Kauffman Foundation, agrees. He told CSG's Capitol Ideas magazine that new companies likely will be the ones bringing new jobs to the U.S. economy, and most of those will come through entrepreneurs.

"It has been demonstrated that the companies under five years old basically have created all new jobs in this country in the last 30 years," Motoyama said.

But bringing a new product or service to market can be a daunting prospect for innovators-from gaining access to capital to navigating the legal and regulatory landscape. State policies can either hinder or foster that entrepreneurial spirit.

"Policymakers should continue to examine their state's environment for business creation and identify barriers that may hinder entrepreneurship," said Stangler.

Speakers for the March 24 event are:
For more information, visit the CSG State Entrepreneurship Days webpage.



The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.