Dear Fellow Nebraskans: In March of 2011, I announced a new partnership to help strengthen Nebraska small businesses and startup enterprises through mentorship. This week, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton and I honored nearly 150 entrepreneurs and their mentors from Nebraska at Gallup's Entrepreneur Acceleration System Impact Summit. Our strategic partnership is between Gallup, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Greater Omaha Chamber. In its second year, the Entrepreneur Summit highlighted participating entrepreneurs sharing their stories about their business growth plans, shaped in large part by the close mentoring relationships they have developed thanks to this highly successful program. This program has already had an impact on nearly 300 high-growth small businesses in industries ranging from manufacturing, service, food processing, transportation, and information technology. The Gallup Entrepreneur Acceleration program encourages business growth by creating value-based relationships with customers through engaged employees, leading to revenue growth. Growth in revenue leads to sustainable job creation, which is at the heart of the entrepreneur program. This one-of-a-kind program is comprised of a unique integration of four components of assessment, implementation, intervention and ongoing support and tracking. The key approach is an organic process where one depends on the other. Each participant has applied Gallup's behavioral economic sciences in a way that is unique, seamless and a logical fit for their own unique business. The leadership, management, and personal development tools, courses, and coaching they have received is leading to more engaged customers, and significant business growth in the form of job creation, prosperity and economic competitiveness. This program has grown quickly during its first two years. In 2011, 113 companies and 621 managers participated, impacting nearly 3,000 employees and creating 570 new jobs. During 2012, 145 companies and 1,023 managers are currently participating, impacting more than 4,200 employees. Nebraska understands the value of small businesses and entrepreneurs. This partnership is helping us deliver a coordinated and intensive effort to provide the guidance and expertise that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs be successful. As high-growth potential entrepreneurs apply the behavioral economic principles and tools to their companies, business revenues and jobs are created. This is an outstanding example of the collaborative partnerships that exist in Nebraska, and the innovative way we are willing to work together to move Nebraska forward.