Report sees pluses, minuses in ecosystem for Delaware entrepreneurs


The Delaware Workforce Development Board (DWDB) released a report that finds room for improvement in the resources available to entrepreneurs.

The report analyzed the state’s ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship resources to identify assets, gaps, and opportunities for enhancement. One finding indicated that fewer resources are available in Kent and Sussex counties.

Data was collected between March and November 2023 through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and events with 165 entrepreneurs and representatives from the organizations that serve them.

Slightly less than half of the entrepreneurs participating in the survey were identified as being from either a low-income or historically under-resourced community, and 62 percent identified as women. DWDB partnered with Social Contract and Dubard Enterprises to collect the data. The initiative was funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

– A robust support system exists for entrepreneurs, but redundancy and relevancy of services create challenges.
– Delaware’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has a strong foundation but needs improved coordination and accessibility
– A growing number of financing options exist, but many entrepreneurs still lack access to capital.


“Innovation and entrepreneurship play an important role in Delaware’s economy,” stated Joanna Staib, executive director of DWDB. “We recognized the potential to bolster this ecosystem and increase the state’s ability to attract startups and new businesses. This report has information that can support Delaware’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The research and report are the first step in enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state. The next step is for partners to make these improvements.

Some actions that partners could start on right away include:
– Extendin programs and services to Kent & Sussex Counties
– Improve accessibility and relevancy of services through culturally competent business coaches
– Provide awareness and build opportunities for entrepreneurs to seek micro-loans and grants to catalyze their businesses.

– increase availability of and access to subject matter experts such as tax and legal consultants for business startups

This report is part of the multi-year Delaware Employment Equity Project, led by DWDB, to analyze the needs of Delawareans and employers to design effective strategies that increase access to equitable employment opportunities.

The full report can be viewed below: