The service providers are economic development practitioners who assist entrepreneurs by providing technical and financial assistance to start, develop, and grow their businesses. The service providers differ from one community to another and operate by offering a range of services to local entrepreneurs. The critical consideration is that although these service providers offer services that might be valuable to some entrepreneurs, these organizations are not at all designed to develop entrepreneurs and their skills. The principal difference between service provision and skill development types of assistance is in their goals and, consequently, final impact: Service provision addresses a specific issue at a particular time, whereas skill development transforms an entrepreneur’s ability to deal with various issues. The latter type of engagement is transformational whereas the former is transactional and temporary (Lichtenstein & Lyons, 2001).
Kutzhanova, N., Lyons, T. S., & Lichtenstein, G. A. (2009). Skill-based development of entrepreneurs and the role of personal and peer group coaching in enterprise development. Economic Development Quarterly, 23(3), 193-210.