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 endeavour.

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.