A compelling argument for placing entrepreneurship at the heart of economic development provides a guidebook for how this can be done efficiently, effectively, and equitably.
Thanks to globalization, outsourcing, and increased domestic competition, the economic underpinnings of many communities have crumbled. What can save the day? Not holding out hope that Toyota will build a new plant just outside town but, rather, working to improve the climate for small, nimble, highly innovative entrepreneurial companies.
Investing in Entrepreneurs: A Strategic Approach for Strengthening Your Regional and Community Economy offers a compelling argument for making the support of entrepreneurship the centerpiece of local and regional economic development—and provides a plan to make it happen. The book is organized around a tool, developed by the authors, that permits a community to strategically map and manage its business assets in a way that can transform its economy.
Investing in Entrepreneurs begins with a reflection on the importance of entrepreneurship, a discussion of its diminished place in economic development, and a call for its rise back to prominence. The importance of managing entrepreneurial assets is discussed, followed by a thorough articulation of the author's tool for accomplishing this in a holistic and strategic manner. Examples drawn from the authors' fieldwork illustrate the many ways in which the tool can be utilized to guide economic development efforts. A final chapter discusses possible resistance to this innovation and how that resistance can be successfully addressed.
• A unique tool for mapping and managing entrepreneurial activity in a community or region to permit the identification of the strengths and weaknesses of its economic portfolio
• 50 examples from the field showing the development of entrepreneurial skills, the movement of businesses through lifecycles, and interventions to increase and improve entrepreneurial activity
• Illustrations that explain the concepts graphically
• Appendices with templates, plans, and more
• A comprehensive bibliography of important reference sources in the enterprise development field
• Offers a new, systematic way of thinking about economic development that puts entrepreneurs and their enterprises at the center
• Shows how a community's portfolio of business assets can be strategically managed like a financial portfolio
• Introduces the concept of the pipeline of entrepreneurs and enterprises, giving economic developers a way to segment the "market" of entrepreneurs and allow for a truly strategic approach to economic development
• Offers a clear and understandable discussion of entrepreneurs' skill sets: what they are, how they can be differentiated, and how they can be developed