In Main Street districts, one of the best ways to fill vacancies, and prevent new ones, is to foster a setting that is attractive to entrepreneurs and where small businesses can thrive. The buzz word nowadays for that setting is “entrepreneurial ecosystem,” which refers to the elements outside the individual that encourage entrepreneurship and increase the probability of a successful business following a launch. That ecosystem is what attracts, or repels, a business from locating in an empty storefront.
Entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. is up 60% and at its highest level since 2005, according to the newest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM U.S. Report) with retirees looking for a second career and younger adults driving the trend. The market is ripe.
Energizing Entrepreneurs was developed by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to provide a roadmap for communities looking to build their own Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. It is a great resource for communities, organizations and individuals who want to learn:
- Why it’s so important to become an entrepreneurial community;
- The elements of a support system for entrepreneurs;
- Assessment tools to develop a local strategy;
- How to understand and connect to entrepreneurs; and
- The importance of creating, measuring and sustaining local impact.
Exploring the opportunity is a first step and DHCD’s Building Entrepreneurial Economies program can support the effort!