P&G Leader Emphasizes Importance of Fostering Innovation, Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:50 am EDT

What do state governors, a Fortune 500 Company and a visiting scholar have in common? A desire to help entrepreneurs succeed.

That topic and more were covered at The National Governors Association (NGA) meeting in Washington, D.C., February 24-27, featuring as a guest speaker Jeff Weedman, P&G’s vice president of Global Business Development. P&G is a Corporate Fellow Member of the NGA, a bipartisan group of U.S. governors. (Jeff is shown speaking in the photo below, courtesy of the National Governors Association.)


Weedman was asked to address the influential group because of P&G’s work to foster entrepreneurs and innovation, and the breakthrough Master Research Agreements P&G has established with the state universities of Ohio and Michigan, which were led by Global Business Development. 

Weedman encouraged state governments to help entrepreneurs become more attractive for larger companies to work with – including providing early-stage funding to help small businesses grow and be able to scale. He also encouraged government leaders to help their universities become more business friendly, by considering statewide university agreements with businesses and creating “smart agents” who mine their states for entrepreneurial solutions larger companies need.

“I am passionate…about the idea that both government and business can do more to enable local entrepreneurial growth – and the impact this can have on additional regional investment and local communities.” Weedman said.

The suggestions made by Weedman and fellow panelist Amy Wilkinson, (Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Business and Government, and Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), sparked a lively discussion and additional suggestions for how state governments can help create an entrepreneurial culture.

P&G is committed to touching and improving lives in the communities in which we live and work. P&G representatives have spoken at previous NGA events; in addition, P&G CEO Bob McDonald is co-chair of the Cincinnati Business Committee’s Innovation Task Force, which is working to foster an innovation ecosystem in the Greater Cincinnati area.

For a recording of the full session, please go to


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