“Entrepreneurship in northeast Oklahoma is the foundation of our communities; it connects our communities; it is engrained in community culture; and it is the key to job growth. Northeast Oklahoma appreciates and supports our visionary, risk-taking entrepreneurs.”
Entrepreneurship and business expansion/retention are keys to growing our local economies and creating local jobs. Northeast Oklahoma’s top net occupations are expected to shrink by 2015, with the exception of agriculture managers, agriculture workers, and drivers. As global competition persists, supporting current businesses and new business startups is essential, as are educational institutions that create entrepreneurs instead of employees. A Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation study shows companies less than five years old created nearly two-thirds of net new jobs in 2007.
Entrepreneurship discussions typically revolved around three central themes:
1) embracing local entrepreneurs,
2) improving communication channels, and
3) providing a skilled workforce.
The deliberations regarding these themes brought forth two results:
1. A Culture of Support for Entrepreneurship – communities should encourage and support entrepreneurs through their spending habits, with funding/investments, and through education.
2. Engaged Entrepreneurs – entrepreneurs are the backbone of local economies and their deep involvement in their communities is critical through mentoring youth and start-up entrepreneurs, providing community leadership and supporting community organizations.