What is it? An entrepreneur blueprint is a plan created to promote an area’s entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs are a significant part of a region’s economy. Small Business Administration data, for instance, suggests that 67% of the jobs created over the past 17 years in the US were due to small business. Still, many localities lack concrete plans for supporting this key economic sector.
Often, the best scale for such a plan is regional (including two or more neighboring counties or towns, or a city/county combination). By crafting a plan to strengthen entrepreneurship in their region, localities can accrue a number of advantages. The planning process helps policymakers, officials, and others develop shared priorities and produce a comprehensive plan that can guide actions. Greater coordination of efforts can identify existing programs and resources, help resource providers work together more closely, leverage resources, attract funding, and highlight gaps and needs. The blueprint outlines strategies and actions for strengthening the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, making it easier for new businesses to start and helping business start-ups continue and grow.
How has it been used? In far southwest Virginia, a number of partners came together to develop a plan for strengthening entrepreneurship in the areas served by the Lenowisco and Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commissions. The final document was titled the Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia. The planning process helped locate assets and opportunities in the area in order to leverage them to support entrepreneurship. The final plan highlights three main strategies to help promote entrepreneurship. The first strategy is to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem through actions like peer-to-peer mentoring. Second, the plan emphasizes growing entrepreneurs through tactics such as entrepreneur training. The third strategy area is to promote the region as a center for entrepreneurial activity, helping shape a more entrepreneur-friendly identity and climate.(Source: Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia)