In recent months a lot of effort has gone into renewing the vision for economic growth in Wyoming. One component of the plans by the Governor and the Wyoming Business Council recognizes that entrepreneurs drive economies. A challenge has always been how to provide services to businesses that result in measurable employment gains and in increased revenues for companies. One tool in Wyoming’s toolbox is an economic development model called Economic Gardening.
According to the Kaufmann Foundation, “Economic gardening is an economic development model that embraces the fundamental idea that entrepreneurs drive economies. The model seeks to create jobs by supporting existing companies in a community.”
What is Economic Gardening?
Economic Gardening, or EG, is designed to assist successful, high growth companies continue to expand and grow. These companies, called Stage 2 or gazelles generally employ between 10 to 100 people and have revenues of $1 million or higher. Nationally these companies make up 10% of the businesses but create 35% of the jobs. EG assists gazelles by connecting entrepreneurs to resources like competitive intelligence on markets, customers, and competitors that is comparable to the resources customarily only available to large firms. Included in the market information category are database and data mining resources, and geographic information systems.
The approach taken by Economic Gardening is different than that used for a start-up business. For a growth company the question is often “what’s next?” or “how do I continue to grow?”. In Economic Gardening a team of certified professionals work directly with the entrepreneur and his or her team to find answers to the question that the business needs to make the decisions that are keeping them up at night. This is not traditional counseling, but more like gaining access to a temporary staff that has expertise and access to data and resources that are generally only available to the largest corporations.
How to Get Started:
The program has proven itself wildly successful across the country. What is not widely known is that Wyoming offers a certified EG program of its own, which is available through the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network’s Market Research Center (MRC). The MRC’s staff are all certified as specialists by the National Center for Economic Gardening and can offer a wide variety of services to second state companies to help them make the decisions that will enable them to continue to grow and add jobs.
Are you an entrepreneur with a rapidly growing business in Wyoming who would like to learn more about how Economic Gardening can work for you? Contact one of our Wyoming SBDC Network advisors by clicking here.
About the author: Mike Lambert is the manager and first employee of the Wyoming SBDC Network’s Market Research Center. In over 16 years Mike has built an information resource for Wyoming businesses that is unique in the nation. The MRC specializes in providing any Wyoming business with access to advanced marketing information that was previously available only to a few of the largest corporations. Mike’s individual expertise also includes marketing, product management, product development, international trade and export. When he’s not in the office Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters and grandkids, reading or woodworking.