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Economic Gardening Training


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Upcoming and Recent Presentations
Supporting Entrepreneurship Blog

Best practices and research on supporting entrepreneurship

Read our blog!

"Your presentation at the MAP Entrepreneur Conference was a fantastic introduction to the concept of economic gardening, and provided a detailed road map for how I (an economic developer) can support start-ups and growing businesses in my community. I walked away with a new appreciation for the role competitive research plays in economic development, and a renewed commitment to provide access to more and better information to local entrepreneurs."

—Christina Henderson, Director, Delta County Economic Development Alliance, Escanaba, Michigan


"You gave an excellent presentation at the Michigan Creating Entrepreneurial Communities Institute. It was well received, very thought-provoking, and I received excellent feedback from the group about it."

—Dr. Dan Wyant, President and CEO, Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan


"In July 2006, Christine Hamilton-Pennell explained the details of the City of Littleton, Colorado's Economic Gardening program to the Beaverton City Council. Not only was the presentation informative, but Christine's enthusiastic and energetic delivery style made the event very enjoyable. I have subsequently, and very comfortably, recommended Christine as a presenter to several associates. I look forward to experiencing another of Christine's presentations in the near future."

—Rob Pochert, CEcD, EDFP, Economic Development Program Manager, City of Beaverton, Oregon


"Do you work with people who tend to play the victim? Some people are likelier to feel that their circumstances were imposed upon them by someone else than that they can do anything themselves to determine their fate. Locus-of-control--external or internal--is the issue, and it is something that, with knowledge and effort, can be changed to the benefit of the individual and the organization. Christine is an informative and engaging speaker on this important topic that determines the culture of so many organizations. She can help you and your colleagues understand your locus-of-control issues and address them realistically, practically, and constructively."

—Dr. Keith Curry Lance, Director (retired), Library Research Service, Colorado

Conference Sessions & Workshops

Hot Topics
Economic Gardening
Libraries and Economic Development
Other Topics

Hot Topics

  • Gaining the Competitive Edge: Strategic Information Needs of Small and Growing Businesses

    This workshop addresses the role of strategic information and competitive intelligence services as a component of a successful economic gardening or entrepreneurship support program. What information do entrepreneurs need to grow their companies and how can you provide it? We discuss case studies from several different economic gardening programs, as well as key tools and resources—many of them free—that are available to provide customized research services to small and growing businesses.


  • Supporting Local Entrepreneurs as an Economic Development Strategy: What Local Communities Can Do

    Many municipalities and regions can’t compete in recruiting or attracting new businesses, so they must explore other possibilities for building and supporting the local economic base. This workshop for local government staff and elected officials, economic development staff, and workforce professionals will explore how local communities can support small businesses and entrepreneurs as an economic development strategy. Workshop topics include:

    • Strategies for bringing jobs and wealth into the local community
    • How local economies function
    • Entrepreneurs and economic development
    • Local models for supporting entrepreneurship

Economic Gardening

  • Economic Gardening: The Basics

    Traditional economic development focuses on attracting or recruiting business to a local community. For some communities that has not been a successful strategy. Learn about economic gardening, an entrepreneurial approach to economic development first pioneered in Littleton, Colorado. Find out how to grow the local economy by supporting entrepreneurs through the delivery of customized research services, appropriate infrastructure and strategic connections.

  • Starting an Economic Gardening Project: Strategies for Implementing a Local or Regional Initiative

    So how can you bring economic gardening (EG) to your community? This nuts-and-bolts workshop will cover the steps needed to implement a successful EG project in your city, county, or region. Topics include:

    • What basic skill sets are needed to implement EG
    • Leveraging local assets to implement an EG program
    • Where to find free and low-cost tools for research
    • How to market your EG program
    • What training is needed to build capacity of EG players
    • Budget considerations

Libraries and Economic Development

  • Connecting the Dots: The Role of Libraries in Community Economic Development

    This intensive workshop for public and academic librarians will cover the following topics:

    • Why libraries need to be involved in community economic development
    • How local economies work
    • How libraries are part of the local economy
    • How to support the information needs of local business owners
    • How to partner with local economic development efforts
    • What tools and skills are needed to support these efforts

  • It’s Not Rocket Science: Meeting the Research Needs of Local Business Owners

    What kinds of information do small businesses need to be successful? This seminar will help public and academic librarians demystify the most common questions small business owners ask and show where to find the answers. Topics include:

    • Characteristics of entrepreneurs
    • Understanding business strategy
    • Types of small businesses
    • Common information needs of small business owners
    • Print and online tools that provide answers to small business questions
    • Identifying local sources of information

Other Topics

  • Thriving in a Big Box World: Strategies for Independent Business Owners

    “Big box” retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot are continuing their march into new communities. Are your local businesses ready to meet the challenge? Learn about strategies independent retail and service businesses can use to survive—and even thrive—in a big box world. This workshop will help you:

    • Determine your core strategy
    • Develop niche offerings
    • Develop a targeted marketing system
    • Leverage the Web
    • Build your team

    You will learn from the example of several small businesses that are operating successfully in a big box world.

  • Creating Change in Challenging Times: Managing Yourself

    Success has been linked to a simple concept for handling stress, conflict and adversity. This concept, which focuses on personal power and responsibility, can be learned quickly and applied immediately in both personal and work settings. The official name for this concept is “locus of control (LOC).” LOC is about your perception of control in your life. People who feel in control of their lives accept personal responsibility for outcomes over which they have influence. They exert their personal power to make things happen, rather than blaming others. This workshop will help you:

    • Recognize internal and external LOC statements
    • Reframe from external LOC problem statements to internal LOC action statements
    • Demonstrate the ability to apply internal LOC thinking to personal situations


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