It was a flyer for me. I had no idea how useful it would be. I wanted to get smarter about what we were doing. I was skeptical at the beginning. It felt wonky, but then I watched the videos and it got me thinking differently about the business. I saw that smart people were accessing resources that are difficult for me to access and providing great information. As things posted I realized how helpful and meaningful the information was. I enjoyed the process and it gave us good information that has gotten us thinking in new ways.
The digital information provided has changed the way we market. We are going to do less tradeshows and will be utilizing social media and other digital networks for marketing. We are changing the way we are messaging and communicating. We have email addresses of prospects we can directly market to. We would not have been able to make these changes without the insight we learned in the program.
You have an outstanding, solid, organized approach to doing this work. It was tremendously insightful and helpful. I am very excited about this information which has given us an idea of action steps we can take to grow our business.
We’re very impressed with the program. It is extremely comprehensive in its approach. Market research opened our eyes to a classification system for higher education that we weren’t aware of prior to entering the program. They also pointed us to some existing research reports that have been extremely valuable for us. We are averaging between 200 – 300 PPC contacts per month, and our daily website traffic has increased significantly Year-over-Year. We are getting more face-to-face meetings with the right people – the decision makers. We definitely will recommend this program to other businesses.
The Economic Gardening (EG) process provided us with a massive amount of data that was tailored to our business. The leads that were produced were highly targeted and appropriate for us to explore. The process even opened our eyes to an additional market that fit with our business model, and we have made sales to companies in this sector. EG was well worth the time investment.
My experience with Economic Gardening was one of the most beneficial endeavors this year! It truly opened my eyes to the dynamics in the marketplaces we were interested in and helped me understand market triggers that will help in business development. The angles and approaches that were taken by the team was phenomenal. It let me take a step back and think strategically about how to engage and go after new clients.
GrowFL, the country’s first statewide Economic Gardening network, launched in late 2009. Participating GrowFL companies created 10,942 net new jobs (4,067 direct new jobs and 6,875 indirect new jobs). Participants also increased state and local tax revenues by more than $81 million (above and beyond the cost of the program), and net return on investment translated into $9.10 for every dollar of funding.
In Kansas, 58 companies have participated in the Network Kansas Economic Gardening project and increased their net employment by 344 full-time positions and 88 part-time positions (an average annual growth rate of 11 percent). In addition, these companies increased annual revenues by $55 million (an average annual growth rate of 23 percent). In contrast, other second-stage companies in Kansas reported a 6 percent average annual increase in jobs and a 4 percent average annual increase in revenues for the same period.
The 195 companies in the Louisiana Economic Development Economic Gardening program have created 1,952 new FTE jobs with a $338 million increase in gross annual revenue and a ROI = $9.19 for every $1 invested.
Of the 51 participants in the first cohort, 32 companies responded to a survey and reported they had created 121 full-time jobs and 16 part-time jobs within one year of their Economic Gardening engagement. A second class of participants included 90 companies; 60 of these responded to a survey, reporting they expected to create 289 full-time jobs and 25 part-time jobs.
Minnesota’s Hennepin, Carver, Anoka, Ramsey and Scott counties — During the pilot phase of this five-county regional Economic Gardening program, participants reported a 26 percent increase in fulltime-equivalent (FTE) jobs and a 19 percent increase in revenue. During the second year, revenue increase was about the same (17 percent) but there was a 36 percent increase in FTE jobs.
In Rochester, 196 participating companies reported 1,100 new jobs (averaging 8.2 new jobs per company) and $260 million in new revenues directly attributable to Economic Gardening (an average of 32% increase per company).
National and International Awards and Citations
International Economic Development Council
National League of Cities
U.S. Economic Development Administration
SBA Report to the President
( Chapter 6: Economic Gardening)
fDi Intelligence / Financial Times of London
University of Minnesota
Harvard Innovation in Government Awards (finalist)
Invited four times to present at Harvard University
Presented at North/Central/South America’s Competitiveness Conference
Presented at European Innovation Council Conference
Hosted four delegations from Japan
Invited to speak in 7 foreign countries
Radio interview with National Public Radio (NPR)
Radio interview with ABC Australia
Over 4,500 media stories including articles in Governing magazine,
BusinessWeek, Nation’s Weekly, Business Expansion Journal,
Stanford Social Innovations Review, ICMA and Forbes Japan
Inquiries from over 800 communities
Over 3,500 social media followers
Over 50,000 hits in Google