Friday, February 15, 2013

Expert has 10 keys to rural economic development

"The Great Recession was very different when compared with business cycle recessions," writes Don Macke, entrepreneurial communities director for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. "It reflected fundamental changes and illustrated in no uncertain terms that America had lost its advantage and must work harder now to ensure competitive edge and renewed prosperity."

As we slowly recover from the recession, the center is reminding rural people and their leaders that "Economic development is a uniquely local responsibility in America when compared to nearly every other nation on the globe," as Mackie notes. "This reality is even more important today as our federal and state governments struggle to function and show less and less capacity for leading our nation’s development."

"Local Responsibility" tops the list of the center's 10 keys to economic development success. Mackie plans to write about one each month this year. The other keys, and our possible headline for each, in some cases quotes from Macke, are:
  • Smart Game Plan: "What has worked in the past may no longer make sense."
  • Robust Investment: This includes reinvestment in public facilities and infrastructure.
  • Entrepreneurial Development: Grow your own entrepreneurs to create local jobs.
  • Sustained Effort: "The key . . . is renewal of community leadership."
  • Growth Entrepreneurs: They "are present everywhere and they can be nurtured."
  • Attributes of an Entrepreneurial Community: A Georgia program has identified them.
  • Immigrants and New Residents: If you embrace them, your community does better.
  • Real Regional Collaboration: Many communities are too small to go it alone.
  • Civic and Social Entrepreneurs: Not all effective entrepreneurs come from business.
For a PDF of Macke's "Growing Entrepreneurial Communities," click here.

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