Kentucky ranked 4th best state in U.S. for entrepreneurship
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - After being near the bottom a year ago, Kentucky's entrepreneurial climate is now one of the best in the nation.
Governor Steve Beshear announced the annual State Entrepreneurship Index (SEI) ranked Kentucky fourth in the country for its ability to create businesses, according to a news release. The Commonwealth climbed 45 places from its ranking of 49th last year.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” said Gov. Beshear. “Over the past several years, this administration has focused on developing innovative programs and offering dynamic services to help these growing companies every step of the way. Even though this is a significant jump, I'm not surprised we're producing great results. Kentucky is a tremendous place to grow a business.”
The SEI, first published in 2008, combines five factors to formulate the overall state rankings: establishment growth, establishment growth per capita, business formation rates, patents per 1,000 people and income levels for non-farm proprietors. In comparing these factors state-by-state and calculating their deviation from the median, the SEI ultimately reflects states' entrepreneurial environment.
The Commonwealth continues to make entrepreneurship a priority. To assist Kentucky's small businesses, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development created the Office of Entrepreneurship last year to enhance the state's existing efforts to help businesses at every step of the growth cycle. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities.
The Office of Entrepreneurship also oversees the Kentucky Innovation Network. Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network offers extensive resources for small and new businesses, as well as innovative and high-tech companies by offering a lifecycle of services. Assistance can range from funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage investment and job growth. All services are provided free of charge.
“Last year, the Office of Entrepreneurship supported more than 2,000 small businesses, and that number is growing,” said Mandy Lambert, Commissioner of Business Development in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “We are seeing more and more startup companies getting off the ground and small businesses growing. As a result, more Kentuckians are starting to realize that they have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs.