Starting a business can be an awfully scary proposition, but it helps enormously to hear from and talk to those who have done it. That is why we are pleased with the large lineup of existing business owners participating in Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s week of events for entrepreneurs and experts in the field.

The events begin with a discussion at LSU’s business school Monday with alumni who have launched successful businesses. The lineup of events this week for BREW is available on the Internet at

The lineup includes experts and national speakers of value to entrepreneurs, but it is often that encouragement of those who have been there that will mean the most to the audience.

All too often, the discussion of economic development focuses on big industries and tax breaks, but small businesses must be part of the mix if Louisiana’s economy is to flourish — and often, it is technology innovators who want to make their fortunes. Gov. Bobby Jindal established an Innovation Council to push for a broad agenda of technology development and entrepreneurship.

BREW and its counterparts around the state can be part of our economic solutions.