State Creates New Office in Effort to Serve Entrepreneurs, Small Business

Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence
In an effort to realign state efforts to better serve entrepreneurs and small business owners, Governor Mike Pence and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann on Thursday announced the establishment of the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, signing Executive Order 13-17 to establish the agency.

The office will house two centers and a number of specialty programs. The Small Business Development Center and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center will work to provide integrated resources and consulting services to businesses in Indiana that have fewer than 500 employees.

Nathan Origer, executive director of the Pulaski County Community Development Commission, told WKVI that he is glad to see the state acknowledging the importance of entrepreneurship. But, he said, until he sees what kind of staffing there is and the services they provide, he feels it might just be a redundant government bureaucracy. However, he explained the office could also be helpful in assisting small businesses to develop further.

Origer said he thinks the state has tasked a good head for the office in Jacob Schpok. Schpok is a graduate of Ball State’s nationally recognized entrepreneurship program and has been with ISBDC since 2005, serving as director since 2011.

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will oversee the agency, joining several state agencies who have undertaken the endeavor of supporting small business enterprise.

OSBE will focus on business consulting, specialty programming, and integrating universities, private sector business and government stakeholders, while a newly created business ombudsman will help to streamline state programs, licensing and permitting processes.

The agency’s overall goal is to develop an entrepreneurial climate for new talent and business opportunities, attracting both human and financial capital to Indiana.