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Economic Gardening Booklet


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This booklet describes the Purdue Center for Regional Development's Economic Gardening (EG) program.

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Economic Gardening Booklet

  1. 1. Economic Gardening Promoting Small Business Growth and Prosperity
  2. 2. The basics 01 Table of contents Second stage companies 02 How it works 03 Examples 04
  3. 3. What is Economic Gardening? Where did it originate? the basics
  4. 4. 4 What is Economic Gardening? Just as a gardener carefully tends their plants, Economic Gardening represents an economic development approach focused on company growth. Economic Gardening accelerates the growth of smaller Indiana companies by linking them more closely with the assets of Purdue University. Economic Gardening does not concentrate on start-up companies in their first stage of growth. Rather, Economic Gardening focuses on second stage, growth-oriented companies, typically with between 10 and 100 employees, between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenues and with the interest in a capacity to grow. The basics section 01
  5. 5. 5 Where did the Economic Gardening approach originate? Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD)’s team has been trained by Chris Gibbons and is fully-certified by NCEG to do this work. The basics section 01 Chris Gibbons pioneered Economic Gardening when he led economic development for Littleton, Colorado, in the 1980s. During the 20 years that Chris implemented Economic Gardening in Colorado, jobs grew from 15,000 to 30,000 and sales tax revenue grew from $6 million to $21 million. A few years ago, Chris partnered with the Edward Lowe Foundation to establish the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG) to teach others how to do this work.
  6. 6. What are second stage companies? Why focus on second stage companies? second stage companies
  7. 7. 7 What are second stage companies? Generating at least $750,000 but not more than $50 million in annual revenue Second stage companies section 02 Second-stage companies are defined as follows: Being a for-profit and privately held business Employing at least 10 people, but not more than 100 people Maintaining its principal place of business in Indiana for at least the previous two years
  8. 8. 8 Why focus on second stage growth companies? Second stage companies section 02 Research shows that second stage companies whose top management is committed to high-growth make a big difference in growing an economy. These smaller high-growth companies disproportionately contribute to prosperity in our economy. mall businesses are the primary driver of job growth in Indiana. In fact, existing second stage businesses generated 36%* of all new jobs in Indiana between 2010 and 2015. They create more high-paying jobs for Hoosiers. At the same time, these companies also need help. They need quick access to the resources that will help them grow. Too often, they do not have the organizational, financial or technical resources of larger companies. Economic Gardening helps them fill these gaps quickly. Second stage companies account for 40 percent of all jobs in most communities
  9. 9. How does Economic Gardening work? how it works
  10. 10. 10 How does Economic Gardening work? How it works section 03 As companies grow past the initial start- up, managers need to develop more disciplined business practices. This step includes more formal procedures and systems, including a more rigorous approach to innovation, product development and market development. These challenges are sophisticated, and many companies in this second stage do not have the resources in place to develop the more disciplined business practices internally. Companies can stay in the second stage for a long, long time. That’s where Economic Gardening comes in. An Economic Gardening team can work with management to diagnose issues and opportunities and quickly find the gaps that need filling and realize the opportunities that need seizing. The team can respond to these needs by calling on the resources anchored by Purdue and its partners.
  11. 11. Analyzing geographic expansion Migrating marketing efforts to the internet How PCRD partners examples
  12. 12. 12 Can you give me an example? Examples section 04 Take the example of a craft brewer of beer that has established a stable position in the local market. Top management sees opportunities to expand regionally. Yet, they do not have a rigorous method in place to identify or evaluate adjacent geographic markets. They know that a great deal of data are available. These data can be more easily analyzed on maps, yet the company does not have internal staff to map the data. The Economic Gardening team can take on this project and provide a more rigorous approach to analyze the best path for geographic expansion.
  13. 13. 13 How about another example? Examples section 04 Take the example of developing a more formal approach to marketing. Marketing is different from sales. Most companies develop their marketing capabilities as they grow their sales. The purpose of marketing is to engage different potential customers to make them aware and interested of the company and its offerings. As awareness grows and potential customers identify themselves to the company, the sales function can take over. Many early-stage, high-growth firms do not have these skills readily available to them. An Economic Gardening team can guide firms through the integration of marketing and the Internet. Increasingly, marketing is taking place through the Internet. This new technology platform, while powerful, requires a sophisticated set of skills.
  14. 14. 14 How does PCRD partner with local and regional economic development organizations? Examples section 04 Local and regional economic development organizations are PCRD’s primary partners in Economic Gardening. PCRD works with and through these organizations to select the second stage firms that participate in Economic Gardening. PCRD works hand-in-hand with economic development professionals to help them identify the second stage firms in their area, decide on a second stage firm strategy that makes sense and then execute the program. PCRD helps local organizations identify second stage firms in their area Together they decide on a second stage firm strategy that makes sense Local organizations execute the strategy program 1 2 3
  15. 15. For more information, please contact Jennifer Helfrich, PCRD Program Manager, at 765-494-7273 The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) seeks to pioneer new ideas and strategies that contribute to regional collaboration, innovation and prosperity.