Goal: By 2015, West Virginia ranks first in the nation in the percentage of residents who start a business.

Committee chairman: Jeff James

Start-up Activities

  • Review the Vision Shared Entrepreneurship Team’s Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Development in West Virginia plus other relevant background materials.
  • Explore reviving the Young Entrepreneurs Support Network (YESNetwork)
  • Review current legislation related to entrepreneurial growth.
  • Review the current entrepreneurship activities available in the state.
  • Determine barriers to entrepreneurship in West Virginia.
  • Recruit other entrepreneurship committee members.

Action Steps for the Remainder of Year 1

  • Explore/pursue legislation allowing entrepreneurial growth to happen.
  • Study successful entrepreneurship programs or tools (i.e. low-interest loan programs, education/curriculum in schools, employee-stock ownership partnership creation) across the nation and analyze applicability to West Virginia.
  • Analyze curriculum and encourage coordinate entrepreneurship education from public school to higher education (include all apprenticeship/certificate programs, not just community and technical colleges and four-year schools).
  • Educate the public on entrepreneurship as a career option via a media and education campaign. Remove the mystery of starting a business. Celebrate successful entrepreneurs.
  • Conduct a survey to understand the challenges of small business owners.
  • Build an entrepreneurship feedback panel.

Action Steps for Years 2-3

  • Implement entrepreneurial training programs in schools, K-12 or higher.
  • Increase availability of capital for start-ups possibly by passing legislation to change our tax structure or establish funds for start-ups or promote the development of additional/expanded community development financial institutions.
  • Encourage state government to assign a statewide entrepreneurship “czar.”

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