February 18, 2008
Governor Jim Douglas honored the substantial impact entrepreneurs have on Vermont's economy at a ceremony Tuesday, recognizing two Johnson State College alumni who started their own information technology firm.
Speaking before a crowd of small business owners, the microenterprise development community, policy makers and students at the State House, Governor Douglas proclaimed February 24 through March 1 Entrepreneurship Week in Vermont.
"Vermont's long tradition of entrepreneurial spirit, dating back to Thaddeus Fairbanks and John Deere, continues today with Ben Kaufman of Mophie and Dave Winslow of Epik One," Governor Douglas said. "Whether it is Green Mountain Coffee, IDX, or a business not yet conceived, Vermont must do all it can to encourage its people to strive and succeed."
Governor Douglas recognized James Thompson and Jared Thomas, co-owners of Acute Technology in Morrisville, a firm that provides IT support and communications support for businesses.
The two started the business in October 2006 while Thompson was still in school and he attended last year's ceremony, even securing clients at the event.
"It is Vermonters like this who take risks to create jobs and grow our economy that help provide prosperity to all of our citizens," Governor Douglas said. "Through partnerships with groups like the Small Business Administration, the Vermont Commission on Women, and the Vermont Center For Emerging Technologies, my administration is working to assist entrepreneurs in their work."
"We are pleased to be part of the Vermont community of entrepreneurs," said Thompson. "The Lamoille Economic Development Corporation and the SBA's Small Business Development Center were valuable resources as we got our business started, and we look forward to continuing our growth."
The proclamation and other activities are part of National Entrepreneurship Week, which was designated by Congress last year in an effort to promote education and awareness of entrepreneurs and small business ownership.
"Vermont's economy is powered in large part by small businesses; more than 4 out of 5 Vermonters work for small businesses," said Wendy Love, Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on Women. "By working with the state and its partners, we create an environment that is conducive to creating and growing these firms."
"The path to becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy one, but it is often a way for women to realize economic independence," Love said. "We are pleased to partner with economic development and community action groups to make this path a little easier to follow."
Entrepreneurship Week is a national celebration and Vermont events are sponsored by the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), the Technical Assistance Providers' Association (TAPA), Vermont Small Business Development Center, Vermont Department of Economic Development, Community Capital of Vermont, Johnson Sate College, Vermont Department of Education, Washington Electric Coop, Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and the Micro Business Development Program of Central Vermont Community Action Council.