Entrepreneurs & Business Incubation Important to Economic Development

October 1, 2013

The Shoals Entrepreneurial Center and the Shoals Angel Network recently received special recognition at the 3rd Annual Alabama Launchpad Conference in Birmingham.  Governor Robert Bentley was the keynote speaker at the conference that was sponsored in part by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA).  The Governor’s remarks focused on the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in job creation in the State of Alabama.  Accordingly to Bentley, “That’s why business incubators are important.  People with fresh and innovative ideas sometimes need a helping hand to get started.  It’s a little hard to get off the ground sometimes.”

Bentley was speaking to start-up business people, leaders of business incubators, investors, and economic developers who had gathered to share ideas, gain inspiration and celebrate successes.  Governor Bentley told them, “What you are doing here is very important.  You are a vital part of what we are trying to accomplish in State economic development.  Let’s continue to make Alabama a great state, which it is.  We’ve got a long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction.”

Statistics collected by the EDPA show that incubators in the State of Alabama are responsible for almost 7,000 direct jobs.  This clearly reflects the importance of business incubation in economic development.

The Shoals Entrepreneurial Center is the business incubator network for the Shoals area and has been responsible for generating more than 1,500 direct jobs.  The SEC plays a major role in Shoals area economic development.  The Shoals Angel Network is a network of local individuals making equity investments for local start-up businesses.

Bill Taylor, president of the EDPA said, “Many companies may not create a lot of jobs, but collectively they keep the state moving forward.  Pooling resources to assist young companies is important not only for job creation, but also for spreading knowledge as business leaders learn collaboratively to improve the world.”

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