Startups and entrepreneurial companies are vital components and drivers of an Innovation Economy. An Innovation Economy is built through an approach called Innovation Based Economic Development (IBED) often also known as technology based economic development.
Innovation Based Economic Development (IBED) contains five core elements:
When new scientific knowledge and technology is being generated in a region, innovators and entrepreneurs are creating startups and high-growth small businesses while the local workforce is educated and trained in the necessary skills to utilize the latest advances. GOED has several Workforce Development programs implemented to support IBED . Consequently, the entire regional population will benefit from increases in growth and prosperity.
These integrated forces will drive an economy that creates new businesses and good paying jobs, which in an Innovation Economy will predominantly be STEM jobs. GOED oversees several different programs and funding instruments to invest in Nevada’s innovation based economic development:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 reauthorizes and expands the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Program, which was originally established in 2010. SSBCI will provide a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to expand access to capital for small businesses emerging from the pandemic, build ecosystems of opportunity and entrepreneurship, and create high-quality jobs. The funds will also support recipient jurisdictions in promoting American entrepreneurship and democratizing access to startup capital across the country, including in underserved communities.
The small Business Enterprise Loan Program (Nevada Opportunity Fund) is assigned to the GOED. With the approval of Senate Bill 126 of the 2017 Legislature, this account was created in the General fund as a revolving loan account and provides for loans to small business enterprises, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and disadvantaged businesses.
The Knowledge Fund, administered by GOED, is a major instrument to recruit highly specialized science and research faculty. This recruitment effort further expands already existing research areas of excellence in the state and thereby assists applied research centers in the effort to support industry innovation in Nevada. Through the Knowledge Fund, GOED supports projects at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and the Desert Research Institute (DRI).
To obtain this funding, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) submits applications to GOED for projects that could benefit from Knowledge Fund support.