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Despite bad entrepreneurial report, official says state making significant progress

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state official says Wisconsin has made significant progress in the way it supports individuals who start new businesses.

Ryan Murray's comments came after a new report from the Kauffman Foundation showed that Wisconsin had one of the nation's lowest rates of entrepreneurial activity over the last decade.

It said the Midwest had the lowest rates of new entrepreneurs, while the West did the best. The Kauffman Foundation also said the numbers of new firms dropped last year, as jobless rates fell.

Wisconsin had 170 new businesses for every 100,000 adults. It was among the nation's largest declines at 0.8 percent.

Murray, the chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, said the report did not show what states are doing to help small start-ups. He said his agency is giving $2 million this year to business training and entrepreneurship programs, with tax credits for certain start-ups.

Murray also said the UW created a $2 million seed fund, plus a center for the commercialization of technology.

Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council said the state's doing better at starting up high-tech firms.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)