In the 1990s Macke was the executive director of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission and saw how Nebraska, like many other states, tried to lure businesses with tax breaks. But other factors ultimately drove companies' decision to come to Nebraska. But most economic development funding still tends to go toward attracting businesses, not helping entrepreneurs, Macke writes.
"Even where there are commitments to entrepreneurship-led development, we find folks struggling with how to proceed," Macke writes. "In most cases they are attracted to higher-profile solutions focused on specific ecosystem elements – more capital, incubators, accelerators, workshops and the like. We continue to struggle to get communities to understand the entrepreneurial talent they have, to take the time to identify what these entrepreneurs need and to focus their efforts on networking entrepreneurs to relevant solutions whatever they might be."
"Fortunately," Macke writes, "there are a growing number of promising initiatives and organizations making good progress using entrepreneurship as a leading economic development strategy."