Chapter 8: Innovating for entrepreneurship: one state’s quest to re-engage
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The state of Connecticut is something of an entrepreneurial paradox. With a history steeped in inventiveness, creativity and opportunism, its economic fortunes have played out successfully across an array of eras and industries. Along the way, Connecticut has become a state of many faces – composed of four distinct regions characterized by different industry concentrations, paces of life and senses of engagement. Yet over the more recent decades, the state has fallen behind in terms of entrepreneurial output and job creation, earning a reputation as a home for relatively large organizations, a touch of isolationism and a well-educated, but staid, form of lifestyle – befitting the ‘Land of Steady Habits’. Connecticut now faces the task of reclaiming its place nearer the pinnacle of pioneering and entrepreneurial spiritedness. Yet it must do so in a more globalized and technologically driven context than when it last enjoyed such prominence. This quest is vital to the state, as small, dynamic firms have supplied virtually all of the net job growth across the entire nation over the past several years, a fact that helps explain Connecticut’s prevailing job growth struggles (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).

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