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Kentucky Innovation Network wins National Award

Presented with Achievement in Innovation Award for small business support

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 9, 2015) — 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.

thinkA 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.

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.