Entrepreneurship & Innovation


The development and encouragement of entrepreneurship has gained more attention as an important ingredient in a region’s economic development and workforce development strategies. This increased focus is not limited to the self-employed; “intrepreneurship”—entrepreneurial activity inside existing firms—is also being stressed as important. Clearly, entrepreneurial skills are needed to take risks, innovate, and bring new products and services to market. What is unclear is how public policy can help encourage entrepreneurial activity in new and existing firms. Moreover, the success rate for new firms is not high and most successful start-ups stay small and serve only the local economy and do not bring new economic activity into the area.


  • Should workforce employment policy encourage entrepreneurship and for whom?
  • What is an appropriate role for public investment in stimulating innovation and new product development?
  • What are the components of an effective entrepreneurship training program?
  • Is self-employment a viable means for low-skilled individuals to achieve sustainable careers?

Selected Institute Research

What Should EDA Fund? Developing a Model for Pre-Assessment of Economic Development Investments
Brad Watts, Upjohn Institute
George A. Erickcek, Upjohn Institute
Jacob Duritsky, TeamNEO
Kevin O'Brien, Cleveland State University
Claudette Robey, Cleveland State University
Jim Robey, TeamNEO
Economic Development Quarterly 25(1), February 2011

Nurturing America’s Growth in the Global Marketplace through Talent Development: An Interim Report on the Evaluation of Generations II and III of WIRED
Kevin Hollenbeck, Upjohn Institute
Nancy Hewat, Public Policy Associates
and Others
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, November 2009

Profiling in Self-Employment Assistance Programs
Jon C. Messenger, International Labour Office
Carolyn Peterson-Vaccaro, New York State Governor’s Office
Wayne Vroman, Urban Institute
Jacob M. Benus, IMPAQ International
Wayne Gordon, U.S. Deptartment of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Chapter 5 in Targeting Employment Service
Randall Eberts, Christopher O’Leary, and Stephen Wandner, editors.
Upjohn Institute Press, 2002

More Institute Research about Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Useful Links

Kaufmann Foundation
Edward Lowe Foundation