One of the emerging regional and local conversations questions whether, when it comes to growing economies, we should put a premium on growing entrepreneurs or innovators. Of course it depends on how these are defined.
We can talk about entrepreneurs as those who start up new small enterprises, whatever their profit orientation. They fall into two categories: startups featuring existing value (replications) and startups featuring new value (innovations).
We can also talk about startups that will create few new employment opportunities for a community and those that will eventually create many.
When it comes to innovations, people and teams can create innovations that result in new business ventures within or outside the communities from which they originate. From this perspective, a community can produce countless innovations that do nothing to grow local businesses, startups or employment and investment opportunities. And they can produce innovations that grow their economies of origin.
These distinctions become critical strategy considerations when any community ponders how to incubate and support the growth of entrepreneurs and innovators. The wise will choose wisely.