How Developing and Using an Entrepreneurial Support System Can Benefit Your Community

International Economic Development Council

Leveraging Unique Regional Assets to Compete Globally: spurring Job Creation Through Cluster Development and Transformation

June 9-11, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Register today!

Develop an Entrepreneurial Support System in Your Community

Small businesses don’t only generate new jobs - they also add to the diversity and stability of local economies and circulate more wealth within their communities. The recession shifted many EDOs’ efforts from business attraction to nurturing small businesses, and the focus of many individuals from finding a job to working for themselves.  These efforts have the potential to reinvigorate local economies hungry for a new source of prosperity – but someone must lead. 

New business failure rates are high even in the best of times. Entrepreneurs need to be connected with resources and networking opportunities that can help them succeed. That makes it more important than ever to develop an entrepreneurial support system that can foster the success of fledgling local businesses.  We’ll be kicking off our Spring Conference in Ann Arbor with a keynote session focused on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, followed by more sessions demonstrating how entrepreneurship can provide life and energy in a range of industries.

Join IEDC in Ann Arbor as we answer the questions:

  • What can you do to build the elements of an entrepreneurship ecosystem?
  • How do you foster innovation and entrepreneurship in small communities?
  • What are the key resources and support systems that entrepreneurs need?
  • What are some successful ways to leverage community assets and bring entrepreneurs and funders together?

Our Entrepreneurial Expert Keynote Speakers Include:

David O. Egner
Executive Director
New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan
Detroit, MI

David O. Egner and the New Economy Initiative are using a targeted effort to transform southeast Michigan into a more innovative economic ecosystem. Mr. Egner is also President & CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation, which dedicates its resources to improving the quality of life in metropolitan Detroit.  

Larry Freed
Ann Arbor, MI

Larry Freed is the leader of an IT company that does analytics of customer satisfaction surveys, along with related consulting.

Doug Rothwell
President and CEO
Business Leaders of Michigan
Detroit, MI

Doug Rothwell heads Business Leaders of Michigan, an umbrella organization for business and university leaders in the state.

Rich Sheridan
Menlo Innovations
Ann Arbor, MI

Rich Sheridan will discuss his experiences at an innovative software company notable for its embrace of open and collaborative workplace models.

Additional Sessions and Speakers of Interest Include:

Competitive Defense Communities
Monday, June 10
2:15 - 3:45 p.m.

Across the country, defense dollars sustain jobs and drive new investment in industries ranging from robotics to advanced manufacturing – so how can you ensure that your town, city, or region has what it takes to compete? Federal dollars for the movement of defense technologies to private sector viability can help create robust opportunities for new business formation and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, even in an unsteady budgetary environment, half of all federal research and development spending is currently allocated through the Department of Defense alone. Attend this session to learn why homeland security means economic security for hundreds of communities nationwide, and how it can support yours.

Mignonne Hollis
, Executive Director, Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation, Sierra Vista, AZ

Using Food Incubators and Value-Added Agriculture to Promote Local Culture and Retain Talent Workers
Tuesday, June 11
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

What can a network of local food providers do for your community's economy? This session will examine the confluence of culture, entrepreneurship, and worker attraction and retention through a discussion of strategies to capitalize on food and agriculture as a reflection of local placemaking and identity. Session speakers will also discuss ways to encourage food and agriculture-based entrepreneurship through food incubators as well as through the development of local sales and delivery channels.

Mary Jo Callan
, Office of Community and Economic Development, Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor, MI
Larry Fisher, Director of Finance, The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, Inc., Athens, OH

A New Species of Entrepreneur: Capitalizing on Coworking in Small Communities
Monday, June 10
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Once the domain of large, "hip" cities, coworking environments – places where entrepreneurs, teleworkers, freelancers, and other self-employed professionals can share office space, network, and gather ideas – are spreading to more and more locations around the country. As small cities and rural communities look for ways to build dynamic places, attract creative professionals, and support entrepreneurship, coworking spaces, many of which also moonlight as galleries and local community music venues, offer a compelling way forward. Attend this session to develop new ideas for seeding entrepreneurship and connecting independent workers in your community.

Maureen Collins-Williams
, Director -- Entrepreneurship Outreach and Regional Business Center, University of Northern Iowa, College of Business Administration, Cedar Falls, IA

The Second Stage: How to Guide Your Gazelles
Monday, June 10
2:15 - 3:45 p.m.

According to the Edward Lowe Foundation, second-stage companies created over a third of all jobs created between 1995 and 2009. Defined as businesses with between 10 and 99 employees, these companies have passed the first test of becoming a successful small enterprise, and often grow quickly thereafter. Yet they may still require new tools and supports to continue growing, giving economic developers a crucial role to play. Learn how to help the fastest growing companies in your region continue expanding, contributing valuable employment opportunities and economic vitality to your community.

Wendy Achatz
, CEO, Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Chesterfield, MI
Penny Lewandowski, Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Direction, Edward Lowe Foundation, Cassopolis, MI

Reserve Your Hotel Today

The Campus Inn
615 East Huron
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: (800) 666-8693 or (734) 769-2200

IEDC room rate: Classic and Business Rooms: $151 single/ $174 double
Premium Rooms: $214 single/$237 double
Group rate cutoff: Friday, May 17, 2013

Published on:
April 18, 2013 - 8:17am
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