Senate panel backs proposal to “nurture entrepreneurial spirit in Indiana”

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana’s Senate Committee on Commerce and Economic Development this week voted unanimously in favor of a bill nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in the state through online resources, education and collaboration.

House Bill 1006 – authored by State Rep. Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville) and sponsored by State Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Lafayette) – tasks Indiana’s secretary of state with developing and maintaining a new website to help entrepreneurs obtain licenses, renew permits and access important tools to achieve their business goals.

“Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in helping maintain jobs and foster the creation of new opportunities,” Hershman said. “Throughout the past 15 year, six in10 new jobs were created by small businesses, with a majority of those positions resulting from start-up companies and new ventures. What’s more, small enterprises create more than half of the U.S. non-farm private gross domestic product. We need to provide entrepreneurs the tools necessary to succeed, so we can help generate renewed economic growth and put more Hoosiers to work.”

Hershman said to better prepare entrepreneurial youths to succeed, the Indiana Department of Education, Commission for Higher Education (CHE) and Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) would work together to develop new curriculum guides for students in grades nine through 12 based on best practices for entrepreneurship instruction in high schools.

“Access and exposure to entrepreneurship at all levels of education is important,” Hershman said. “Secondary and post-secondary students need to build upon lessons on how to discover and create entrepreneurial opportunities, successfully start and manage their own businesses and capitalize on new ventures.”

In addition, a comprehensive list of the entrepreneurship programs offered by Indiana’s post-secondary educational institutions will be established by the CHE. This information would be available on the new website operated by the secretary of state.

Hershman said the IEDC will also collaborate with local and regional organizations, businesses and post-secondary educational institutions to develop new strategies for economic advancement and encourage the establishment of customized job training programs for highly technical business operations. Their findings and recommendations will be presented to the General Assembly where ideas could be considered for new policies.

“As rewarding as business ownership can be, innovators can face challenges when filing paperwork, understanding regulations and knowing about all of the available resources,” Hershman said. “By providing both potential and practicing entrepreneurs easy access to these tools, we can help them on their path to business ownership and growth.”

HB 1006 can now be considered by the full Senate.

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