The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation supports entrepreneurs and new businesses through numerous programs, including the Qualified New Business Venture Program and the SBIR Advance Program. New data released in the WEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Report for 2021 shows the millions of dollars being invested in Wisconsin businesses are having a measurable impact. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Report gathered data from 814 Wisconsin companies that had an active reward or received support from the WEDC in the last three years. That data shows increased funding, revenue and employment. The total new financing and revenue from companies in 2021 saw a 41% increase over 2020, coming in at $1.25 billion. The number of jobs saw a 52% increase to 6,772 full and part-time positions while payroll saw a 25% increase to over $204 million. In total, the businesses that took part in the survey generated $1.26 billion in new capital. “The results presented here tell us that the model is working and companies are finding success,” according to the report. “Beyond the quantitative data, we hear from the companies and those working to support them how impactful these programs are to a small business just trying to launch.” In 2021, WEDC provided $1.77 million to communities through the Capital Catalyst Program,resulting in $971,649 in investments to 33 businesses, allowing these businesses to generate $1.6 million in revenue. Also in 2021, 24 projects received $1.1 million in funding through the Capacity Building Entrepreneurship Support and Entrepreneurship Partner Grant programs. These organizations have assisted approximately 340 businesses. Entrepreneurial micro-grants supported 117 participants in entrepreneurial training and 33 businesses receiving micro-grants. Wisconsin entrepreneurs were able to attract $14.5 million in federal grant funding in 2021 because of this program. Last year, 44 businesses received a Qualified New Business Venture Program certification. There was $764 million worth of new funding secured by businesses participating in this program and $12.2 million worth of tax credits provided to certified businesses. “Even with these highlights, we understand that there is more work to do,” reads the report. “We are expanding our network of partners to diversify the mix of resources available to entrepreneurs, particularly those in rural or economically disadvantaged communities. We are also developing new tools to ensure that companies in a range of industries have access to capital in a dynamic economic environment.”
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