AUGUSTA (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci on Saturday announced the release of a new report on how to foster entrepreneurship in Maine.

“Innovation is the key to Maine’s economic future, and I believe that entrepreneurs are at the heart of the innovation process,” Baldacci told the Washington County Business Conference and Expo in Calais.

“The role of the entrepreneur is to innovate and create economic opportunity for others, and the role of government and its partners is to create a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and build a supportive environment for entrepreneurial activity,” he said.

Baldacci said the report, “Promoting and Supporting an Entrepreneurship-Based Economy in Maine,” provides a framework toward that goal.

The report looks at four elements influencing entrepreneurship – education, support systems, public policy and peer-to-peer learning opportunities – and makes recommendations in each area.

These include:

• Integrating entrepreneurship into Maine’s K-12 education system;

• Encouraging the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine to pursue joint development of an entrepreneurship curriculum;

• Tapping into the potential of successful Maine entrepreneurs by establishing a “Maine E-Team” of mentors, advisors, adjunct professors, classroom presenters, angel investors and other business-minded people to offer learning opportunities to budding entrepreneurs.

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