CHEYENNE — 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.”
Economic Gardening is designed to assist successful, high growth companies continue to expand and grow.
These companies — called stage two 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.
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 Network’s Market Research Center. The Market Research Center’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.
If you are an entrepreneur with a rapidly growing business in Wyoming and would like to learn more about how Economic Gardening can work for you, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor at WyomingSBDC.org.
By Mike Lambert
Market Research Center Manager Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network