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Growing Local Economies

Updated with New Case Studies

Creating an Entrepreneur-Friendly Public Library

Find out more...

Purchase our E-Book

Supporting Entrepreneurship Blog

Best practices and research on supporting entrepreneurship

Read our blog!

New Bibliography

Economic Gardening Articles and Resources

Read about economic gardening in this bibliography of current publications.

10 Tips for Implementing an Economic Gardening Project (Revised and expanded April 2010!)

Developing an economic gardening program in your community seems like the right way to go. What do you do next?

Download Our Free White Paper

ICMA Report

Strengthen Your Local Economy through Economic Gardening

by Christine Hamilton-Pennell

This ICMA report describes the key elements of an economic gardening program, provides overall implementation considerations, examines the features of currently existing economic gardening models, and provides specific tips and strategies for implementing an economic gardening program at the local level.

Purchase this report through the ICMA bookstore

Read an excerpt (PDF)

Libraries Supporting Entrepreneurship

Christine was interviewed by Sarah Long, Director of the North Suburban Library System (Illinois) on the benefits of public libraries supporting community entrepreneurship.

Listen to the podcast

The Role of Small and Large Businesses in Economic Development

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shows why economic development professionals are shifting their emphasis from chasing big businesses to fostering an entrepreneurial culture.

Download the Report

On the Road

View Christine’s speaking itinerary.

Read More…

Competitive Intelligence for Small Businesses: Littleton’s Economic Gardening Program

Read Christine’s article from the December 2004 issue of Competitive Intelligence magazine.

Download the Article

Supporting Local Entrepreneurs

Every community wants to grow its local economy and achieve greater prosperity. Every community desires to be a location where people want to live, engage in meaningful work, and pursue their passions. In short, every community wants to be a vibrant, safe, and livable place.

A growing body of research has revealed that the traditional economic development emphasis on recruiting or attracting businesses is no longer sufficient to grow economies in most localities. A new model has emerged in theory and practice: supporting local entrepreneurs as an economic development strategy.

Programs such as Economic Gardening, pioneered by the City of Littleton, Colorado; Energizing Entrepreneurship institutes; business retention and expansion programs; and Hometown Competitiveness all focus on helping local entrepreneurs become more successful and bring more wealth into the local economy.

Our definition of an entrepreneur is “someone who perceives an opportunity and creates and grows an organization to pursue it.” In our view entrepreneurship encompasses not only high-tech enterprises seeking venture capital, but small business owners pursuing their passion to create a manufacturing, retail, or service business, or to start a nonprofit endeavor.

Our mission at Growing Local Economies is to help local communities become more prosperous by leveraging their assets to support local entrepreneurs. We can help you find the best solutions for your community by working with you to identify the local assets, potential partners, and technical resources needed to create and sustain an entrepreneurial support initiative.

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