Dave is forever "inventing" or dreaming up things that would make the job he is currently doing easier. As a new father, he dreamed up the idea of a fold up stroller. Several months later he saw the "Umbroller" in a magazine.

The moral of the story is that there are significant steps between the "great" idea and the ad in the magazine.

Helping people like Dave take those significant steps is a major initiative in the new Plan of the Board of Montgomery County Economic Development (MCED). The Plan says, "...local ownership is a primary defense against job cuts threatened by globalization. Acknowledging that the vast majority of jobs are created by small businesses, MCED has, as part of its re-invention, prioritized the cultivation of local entrepreneurs as an integral part of its future strategy."

Like the journey between the entrepreneur's idea and results, there are significant steps MCED must take to cultivate local entrepreneurs. The first is to assemble a group of qualified and interested people to take us on that journey. The outgoing President, Rusty Carter and the incoming President, Phil Bane, are recruiting people from different backgrounds and experiences who share a passion for entrepreneurialism to serve on the Committee.

Another step is to identify local entrepreneurs-the people in Montgomery County who are quietly making things that they sell nationally, even internationally, and, thus, adding jobs and increasing our tax base. They are here, raising fish, building and selling water treatment systems, and building parts for the defense industry or for agriculture. Once these individuals are identified, the committee will bring them together to network with each other and help the committee identify how to support them and others. Finally, the Plan envisions that the entrepreneurs will model and mentor young people, and the not-so-young ones.

Dr. Pat White, president of Wabash College and a member of the MCED Planning committee asks in-coming freshmen about their career goals. "I want to own my own business," is a common answer. Wabash listened and has two major initiatives to teach and support this aspiration. MCED listened and recruited the Wabash faculty responsible for these initiatives to serve on the MCED committee.

Tom Utley, County Councilman and member of the MCED Board, is a successful entrepreneur who has spent much of his life helping other people start and remain successful in their own businesses. He knows the work and discipline that comes after the idea. Tom is also president of the Linden Library where he is developing a collection of books and materials about entrepreneurship.

Imagine Montgomery County as a leader in entrepreneur development, a place where local small business owners, some of whom will grow into large business owners, are "the defense against job cuts threatened by globalization."

If you are one of the entrepreneurs, know one of them, aspire to be one of them, go to the MCED website at www.MCEDinc.com to leave a message.



Deanna Durrett is the Public Relations Director for Montgomery County Economic Development. Read MCED's column every Monday in The Paper.