Entrepreneurship and Innovation Expert to Speak at Colorado State’s Distinguished Speaker Series in Economic Policy

An economist will look at the importance of small firms and the nature of high-tech employment and research-and-development activity in cities, both mainstays of the Front Range economy, at Colorado State University Sept. 29.

Zoltan Acs, the McCurdy Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and professor of economics at the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business, will be the fall speaker in the Distinguished Speaker Series in Economic Policy.

Acs, who also directs the school’s entrepeneurship initiative, will present two programs that are free and open to the public.

He will address "Are Small Firms Important?" from noon-1 p.m. in Room A-104 of the Clark Building and will speak on "High-Technology Employment and R&D in Cities: Heterogeniety vs. Specialization" from 3-4:30 p.m. in Room C-358 of the Clark Building.

Ron Phillips, professor of economics and co-organizer of the lectures, said, "Professor Acs will examine the connection between industry and university research and development and the location of high-technology industries. The important question he addresses is what types of economic activity will promote positive effects for the community in terms of economic growth."

Acs was chief economic advisor to the U.S. Small Business Administration and has taught or conducted research at the University of Maryland, Science Center Berlin, Columbia University, Middlebury College and the University of Illinois.

A member of the Council of Entrepreneurship Chairs, he is a leading advocate of entrepreneurship and innovation as engines of economic growth. He co-founded and co-edits the journal Small Business Economics.

Stephan Weiler, a member of Colorado State’s economics faculty specializing in regional economics, said of Acs’ first lecture, "He will be underlining the importance of small firms in the national economy, which is clearly reflected in this state’s booming economy. Colorado in fact has one of the highest rates of new firm formation in the country. Almost all of them, not surprisingly, start small."

Phillips said the Small Business Administration has found that small businesses provide some 75 percent of net new jobs added to the economy, represent 99.7 percent of all employers, employ 53 percent of the private workforce, provide 47 percent of all sales in the country, provide 55 percent of innovations, account for 35 percent of federal contract dollars, provide 38 percent of jobs in high technology sectors, account for 51 percent of private sector output and represent 96 percent of all U.S. exporters.

Acs’s appearance is sponsored by the Guest Scholars Committee of Colorado State’s Graduate School and the university’s economics and finance departments.

For more information on Acs’ lectures, call (970) 491-6324.