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Creating the next Silicon Valley calls for economic development policies aimed at fostering entrepreneurially driven growth.  A policy guide released by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation provides a roadmap for how regional economies can grow by forming and growing new firms rather than chasing after existing ones.

History suggests that the policy of "smokestack chasing" is a zero sum game, and economic development officials have since turned their focus toward replicating the economic benefits of entrepreneurship business clusters, such as California's Silicon Valley, North Carolina's Research Triangle and Massachusetts's Route 128 corridor.

While the effectiveness of any single policy approach to creating a business cluster is relatively modest, the strongest consensus supports streamlining local regulatory approvals and discouraging progressive taxation at the state and local levels.

Policies such as investing in local schools, limiting the enforcement of non-compete clauses in business contracts, and developing citywide Wi-Fi centers are among the programs economic development officials should consider when seeking to create high-tech entrepreneurship business clusters. City officials also should consider quality-of-life policies, like congestion pricing, that can make their areas more attractive to potential entrepreneurs.

This event, sponsored by the Government Innovators Network and the Kauffman Foundation, assembled some of the policy guide authors and other experts to discuss areas of government policy that affect entrepreneurial activity.



Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation - Grant making and operations focused on advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.

International Economic Development Council - A non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession.

Also of interest

McGahey, Richard M. and Jennifer S. Vey, eds. (2008). Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America's Older Industrial AreasBrookings Institution Press.

Adena Ventures - A rural venture capital program; provides equity capital and operational assistance to high-growth businesses, primarily in Appalachia.

Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs

Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution - Provides decision makers with cutting-edge research and policy ideas for improving the health and prosperity of cities and metropolitan areas.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City - Conducts research that highlights the competitive advantage of inner cities.

Creative Class Group - Richard Florida's website providing resources for emerging leaders to generate greater economic prosperity in their region.

Kotkin, Joel, & Michael A. Shires. (2007). "Boomtowns '07: Riverside, Provo, McAllen, Sarasota... You may be surprised by the places that top our list of the hottest cities for entrepreneurs." Inc. Magazine.

Kotkin, Joel. (2005). "The U.S. Brain Belt: The Next Centers of Our Information Economy May Surprise You." The American Enterprise, June 30.