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

According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, which tracks new business creation across the U.S., Montana had the highest entrepreneurship rate in 2013 with 610 per 100,000 adults creating businesses each month during the year. Montana is followed by Alaska (470 per 100,000 adults), South Dakota (410 per 100,000 adults), California (400 per 100,000 adults) and Colorado (380 per 100,...

Like many programs, state tourism efforts took a significant hit during the Great Recession. Experts argue, however, that cutting tourism marketing programs can have long-term negative consequences for state economies.

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A series of high-profile requests by companies wanting special tax breaks from Illinois in order to stay in the state have raised questions about whether the state’s business incentive programs actually result in job and economic growth.
So many questions have emerged, in fact, that lawmakers have agreed not to grant any tax breaks until hearings are held to evaluate the state’s tax environment and the effectiveness of business incentives.

Many states are following a new path to economic development—retraining their workforce for jobs of the 21st century. Wisconsin is one of those states. Its Fast Forward Initiative allocates state funds to help companies train new and current employees, administered through a grant application program. Two Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development officials—Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry and Scott Jansen, administrator of the Division of Employment and Training—will discuss the state’s retraining efforts during an April 21 webinar, “Training for Today: Retraining the Workforce for 21st Century Jobs.” The webinar, presented by Capitol Ideas magazine and CSG’s State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, will begin at 11 a.m. EDT.

Entrepreneurial experts from the Kauffman Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts say Nebraska is in pretty good standing when it comes to state policy that fosters entrepreneurship. But there’s always room for improvement, said Dane Stangler, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “Overall, Nebraska is doing well,” Stangler said after the event. He was comparing the state to the two other states where The Council of State Governments has held Entrepreneurship Days. “Nebraska has good assets in the legislature and an engaged community from what we can tell.

New companies likely will be the ones bringing new jobs to the U.S. economy, and most of those will come through entrepreneurs, said Yasuyuki Motoyama, a senior scholar for policy and research at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For that reason, states should be looking for ways to help entrepreneurs.

The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, hosted a discussion on April 1, 2014 in the Connecticut Capitol that featured experts, practitioners and national thought leaders exploring state-based solutions for increased entrepreneurship. Attendees learned about the latest research on the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth and innovative policy strategies to encourage entrepreneurship. Meeting materials are available for download below.

The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, hosted a discussion on Arpil 2, 2014 in the Nebraska Capitol that featured experts, practitioners and national thought leaders exploring state-based solutions for increased entrepreneurship. Attendees learned about the latest research on the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth and innovative policy strategies to encourage entrepreneurship. Meeting materials are available for download below.

The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, hosted a discussion on Monday, March 24, 2014 in the Arizona Capitol that featured experts, practitioners and national thought leaders exploring state-based solutions for increased entrepreneurship. Attendees learned about the latest research on the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth and innovative policy strategies to encourage entrepreneurship. Meeting materials are available for download below.

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