U.S. EDA Promotes Entrepreneurship in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
September 16, 2011
Contact: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $429,000 grant to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Baton Rouge, La., and JumpStart, Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, to help develop a plan to address the shortage of high-paying jobs and the need to diversify the regional economy in order to retain the region's skilled labor and graduates of area universities.
"Creating local jobs is President Obama's top priority and he has taken significant steps to support entrepreneurs and small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstone of our communities," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will identify gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and create an operational plan to connect entrepreneurs to resource providers, mentors, investors and others who can help them succeed in creating high-value companies with higher-skilled, higher-wage jobs."
"We know it needs to exist in Baton Rouge—some new layer of services to help high-growth entrepreneurial companies," said Adam Knapp, Chief Executive Officer, Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
The project will prepare an operating strategy and business plan for a new regional venture innovation organization to spur the growth of new technology-based, high-value companies. The strategy will complement the Capital region's existing physical infrastructure of universities and research institutions, the research parks and incubators by focusing scarce resources on the highest value opportunities.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.