Recognizing Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma Award
I am honored to preside over the newly launched Award recognizing Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma by the Oklahoma Department of Labor. Why would the Commissioner of Labor be at the forefront of recognizing entrepreneurial excellence in Oklahoma you might ask? The answer is found in Oklahoma law, under Title 40, Section 1-b-3 that directs the Commissioner of Labor to “advance opportunities of wage earners for profitable employment.” There is no better way to fulfill this mandate than to recognize those entrepreneurs who have created profitable employment for their fellow Oklahomans.
According to the magazine The Economist, an entrepreneur is one who has the idea and enterprise to bring together the factors of production such as land, labor, and capital to produce something valuable. An entrepreneur must be willing to take a risk in pursuit of a profit. The economist Ludwig von Mises holds the only possible path to prosperity is through entrepreneurial activity which provides for an expansion of free markets and private capital investment.
Oklahoma is a state rich in entrepreneurial success. The discovery of oil and a “strike it rich” reputation brought people from throughout the United States and the world to seek their fortune in Oklahoma. Those who came to Oklahoma sought out the opportunity to feed their families, improve their condition in life, and to succeed in building their own fortunes.
These early settlers created jobs for themselves and they created opportunities for their neighbors. As they built their businesses they expanded job opportunities for more and more of their neighbors. The Land Runs contributed to the depth of entrepreneurship by attracting those individuals with a pioneer spirit. The days of success based on oil and agriculture are today shared with multiple other segments in our economy such as commerce, technology, and manufacturing.
The adversarial relationship between the Oklahoma Department of Labor and the engine of economic prosperity, businessmen and women, is over. Jobs do not come from the government; they are created by the business owner who seeks to feed their family. Economic development is the result of in-state entrepreneurial success. I also recognize the need to make Oklahoma attractive to entrepreneurs outside our state. This award is just one step in moving Oklahoma ahead with more and better paying jobs by recognizing those who have a history of creating jobs in our great state and to encourage future entrepreneurship.
Members of the legislature, local Chambers of Commerce, civic organizations and the public are invited to nominate a job-creating business leader for the Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma award. Recipients will be listed on the Oklahoma Department of Labor’s web site and will be awarded a plaque (not at taxpayers’ expense) recognizing their entrepreneurial success. Oklahoma’s best days lie ahead with economic freedom and entrepreneurship; it’s a proven path to prosperity.
Commissioner Mark Costello