Home > Policy > Note to Commerce: Entrepreneurs need Tech Training too

Note to Commerce: Entrepreneurs need Tech Training too

Last week, Commerce Secretary Locke announced the creation of a new Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship that will focus on helping entrepreneurs achieve their business goals.  According to the Washington Post blog post by “Federal Eye” Ed O’Keefe, the new department will:

…” help coordinate the federal government’s efforts to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into actual products, companies and jobs. It will also focus on education, training and mentoring issues; improving access to capital for small businesses; and help create government-backed incentives for entrepreneurs and potential investors.”

This new initiative comes at a crucial time for small and medium businesses.  Many smaller companies face mounting costs (wages, healthcare, insurance) and are struggling to stay alive in the current recession.  At the same time, most industries are witnessing a massive wave towards consolidation as big companies swallow up smaller companies whose share prices have been greatly depressed in the global economic downturn.  As noted most recently by the Economist, this trend – which is particularly prevalent in the healthcare and technology industries – presents a new challenge: how does a smaller company remain relevant in a world dominated by larger, better-funded competitors?

I believe a big part of that answer lies with technology. Web technologies and cloud computing are truly leveling the playing field thanks to innovations like email and websites which give smaller companies the same level of business efficiency and professionalism as their larger counterparts. It’s important that we train future entrepreneurs – not just on business issues, but also on the technologies that can them gain an edge in today’s fiercely competitive markets.  Educating entrepreneurs on current business productivity technologies is crucial to the success of the Administration’s efforts to revitalize the small business sector.

The Administration already recognizes the importance of technology in stimulus and job-retraining efforts.   Let’s hope they also see how important technology and effective tech education is for the entrepreneurs who will run the businesses of tomorrow.

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