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Kentucky Innovation Network wins National Award

Kentucky Innovation Network graphic

Presented with Achievement in Innovation Award for small business support

Kentucky has received another national award for supporting small businesses.

Business Facilities magazine, a leading national business publication, presented the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and its Kentucky Innovation Network with the magazine’s annual Achievement in Innovation Hubs Award. The award is given to the top organizations and programs that exhibit consistent excellence in the development of innovation hubs and supporting entrepreneurs.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Kentucky continues to receive national recognition for our growing economy and entrepreneurial support programs. Small businesses are a vital part of job creation, and we are proud to help these innovators achieve their goals.”

A statewide network of 13 offices, the Kentucky Innovation Network helps entrepreneurs at any stage — whether it is just starting with an idea or having an established business — and works with them to plan, build and launch their business.

One of the first state programs to create a network of business leaders and mentors to support new and existing businesses, the Innovation Network, along with the Cabinet’s Office of Entrepreneurship, assisted more than 2,000 small businesses last year.

“Small businesses are a key part of Kentucky’s ongoing, positive economic story,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development for the Cabinet. “They are a source of new jobs and new ideas. Knowing this, we are dedicated to partnering with small businesses across the Commonwealth and offering resources to help them succeed.”

This is the latest award Kentucky has received for its support of small businesses. Last year, the State Entrepreneurship Index ranked Kentucky fourth in the country for its ability to create businesses. The Commonwealth climbed 45 places from its ranking of 49th in 2013. The Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com gave Kentucky an “A” rating for small business friendliness. Kentucky was the most improved state in the rankings.

The Cabinet also has recently been cited in other national publications for economic growth and for its workforce training programs through the Kentucky Skills Network. The state has received additional recognition for its Kentucky Angel Investors Network, which brings together investors and entrepreneurs to broker deals, and the Kentucky Export Initiative, which focuses on helping businesses export their products around the world.

More details on the Achievement in Innovation Hubs Award can be found here.

To learn more about how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping small businesses, visit www.kyinnovation.com. Learn more about the Office of Entrepreneurship at www.thinkkentucky.com/entrepreneurship.


The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2014 totaled a state record $3.7 billion, spurring more than 15,000 projected new jobs. The Commonwealth also received Site Selection magazine’s nationally acclaimed Governor’s Cup for most economic development projects per capita last year. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.

Published on April 08, 2015

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