One of my favorite movies is “Patton.” In the opening scene, General Patton, played by George C. Scott, steps onto the stage to address his men in preparation for imminent battle against the Germans. During his speech, General Patton describes, among other things, how Americans love a winner and have no tolerance for losing. I appreciate this line as it applies to our armed forces, but also as it captures the beliefs and values upon which our nation is built.

The desire to win and succeed beats in the heart of all entrepreneurs. Where some will lament the absence of a good or service in the marketplace, the entrepreneur sees the need and finds a way to produce and sell that good or service. Where some complain about the high cost of a product, the entrepreneur finds a way to manufacture it and sell it for less. Where some are content in using old processes and technology, the entrepreneur works to utilize and maximize new technology to continue innovating.

Entrepreneurship is essential to our economy and to our values as a nation. Every product and service we enjoy as Missourians is the direct result of entrepreneurs who were willing to take a chance by investing their time, money, and talents to provide something people want.  

If you have a sweet tooth, think about the efforts of the Chase Candy Company, originators of the famous Cherry Mash in St. Joseph. If you’re enjoying a relaxing beer and brat on the weekend, reflect the efforts of Logboat Brewing Co. from Columbia, Mother’s Brewing Co. of Springfield, and Swiss Meats in Gasconade County.  

The goods and services entrepreneurs provide, in turn, create jobs for Missourians and support families and local economies throughout the state. The young man or woman in Cole County who saves to buy a Ford F-150 or a Chevrolet Colorado directly supports jobs in Cole County, Clay County, and St. Charles County. But they also are supporting other entrepreneurs across the state who supply the parts and services for that vehicle.  

One of the most enjoyable aspects of serving as lieutenant governor is continuing to build upon the Buy Missouri Program, initiated in 2017 by then Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson. This program highlights Missouri businesses who manufacture products within the state. From Hayti to Mound City and every place in between, Missouri entrepreneurs are creating opportunities and improving their communities.

Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Missouri, and we are wise to cultivate, nurture, and grow the entrepreneurial spirit that has made us successful. Government cannot take the place of entrepreneurs, nor should it ever attempt to do so. I’m grateful for my past experience as a small-business owner and am mindful of the challenges associated with owning a small business. My goal, and the goal of Governor Parson and his administration, is to encourage entrepreneurship and allow the free market to work throughout Missouri.