National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Making legislative strides, member by member

by Sallie Traxler

April 1999

When NBIA members approved the Association's latest strategic plan, increasing public awareness of business incubation was a top initiative. Influencing legislative policies related to business incubation and entrepreneurial companies was an important part. We're in good standing to proceed, according to William Frenzel, senior policy fellow for the renowned Washington, D.C., policy think tank, the Brookings Institution.

"In some cases it won't take more than one call. No one's against you," Frenzel says. "You're not fighting a war against someone who's saying, 'I don't want incubators to do well this year.'"

The NBIA Board, Advisory Council, senior staff and a handful of members met last month in Washington to begin shaping a plan to tackle legislative affairs. In all, about 40 people were present for the half-day session, which provided a down-to-earth perspective on where NBIA can begin.

According to Frenzel, the real work is in the upfront planning. The entire membership must understand the goals and stand ready to organize and act. "You'd be surprised how many old organizations can't get unity, and many others who have unity but leave the work to the staff or a paid lobbyist," Frenzel says. "This is not the way you get the job done, you need every member of your organization carrying the ball everyone pulling together."

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Keywords: advocacy, effective communication, marketing and promotion, policy, stakeholder development

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