State Advocacy for Microenterprise
Find your lawmakers
Visit an online legislative directory to help you look up state elected officials.
Develop a Political Strategy
Advocates at the state level have a choice of two strategies: legislative action and administrative rulemaking (through state agencies) or some combination of both.
Legislative action is developing and passing legislation to fund microenterprise in the state. Issues to consider:
- Legislators are usually more connected to local communities. As a result, it may be easier to convince them of the worth of a program or approach that is operating in their district.
- Legislators may help programs operating in their districts build relationships with members of key committees in the legislature.
- Legislators can create whole new programs using state resources. They can also pass legislation directing the state agency to take certain steps with federal funds given to the states for economic development.
Here is an example of state bill language written for microenterprise development.
Administrative rulemaking is the use of existing programs or funding streams to fund microenterprise. Issues to consider:
- State agencies have direct control over both program budgets and regulations. As a result, if state agency champions can be found policy change can sometimes happen very quickly.
- In most cases, a state agency will be responsible for implementing any microenterprise policy or program. Building relationships with agency staff is important in ensuring appropriate and effective implementation.
Make the Case for Microenterprise
For additional information regarding advocacy activities and techniques, see Mobilizing for State Level Advocacy, Volume 2, Number 1 of the Effective State Policy and Practice Bulletin Series.