Focus on Scale Up, Not Start-up

Economic Gardening is a term for a 30+-year-old school of thought that began in Littleton Colorado, where cities focus not on bringing in the big employers (LBNL, VF, Target, etc.) but instead provide a suite of service that support small and mid-sized businesses that tend to stay rooted in community and keep their tax-base local.

Instead of looking for one company that brings in 100 jobs, help 100 companies add 1 job each. More stable, broader tax base, no millions of dollars of tax subsidies.

Here’s yet more data that suggests it’s time for Alameda to get serious about making our city a place that focuses on growing more Perforce Softwares and Spirit Alleys.

The main reasons businesses fail, according to most sources, are not understanding their customers, not differentiating themselves in the market, not being able to clearly and compellingly articulate their value proposition, or leadership breakdown.

Especially under these conditions, entrepreneurs need more technical assistance, quality advice they can trust, and capital to serve their most critical needs and help them overcome their biggest barriers to growth. If we don’t increase our investment in the scale of high-impact small businesses, the majority of jobs that micro-businesses create will disappear, and entrepreneurship, as a job creation strategy, will fail in the long-term to generate enough employment opportunities to put our nation back to work.

via Focus on Scale Up, Not Start-up – Shelterforce – National Housing Institute.