"Knowledge Economy Conference:"
OSU Knowledge Economy Conference May 2, 2006 Paper Proposal Names of authors, title, affiliations: Myra Moss, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, OSU Extension Center at Lima and Bill Grunkemeyer, Assistant Professor and Center Director, OSU Extension Center at Wooster Title of poster or paper: Building Capacity to enter the Knowledge Economy by Creating Entrepreneur Friendly Communities Describe the problem or issue: The United States is shifting to a knowledge based economy. Such an economy is stimulated through the application of new technologies created by an innovative class of entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs seek to locate their business within a community that provides support services and a quality of life that enhances the entrepreneur’s ability to succeed. Therefore, the shift to this knowledge based economy offers new opportunities for business development in rural municipalities that can create and sustain an entrepreneur friendly community. Many rural communities and regions in Ohio do not understand or have the capacity to create community environments that are conducive to the growth of innovative entrepreneurs. These types of entrepreneurs are the engine of growth in the knowledge economy throughout Ohio and the nation therefore the ability of local communities and regions to create fertile ground in which these entrepreneurs can take root and thrive is critical for future economic vitality. Describe the research, program, project, or planned activity: Ohio State University Extension has received funding from the USDA/Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program to provide technical assistance to two rural Ohio municipalities, the Villages of Carrollton and Gallipolis, to increase their capacity to create and sustain an entrepreneur friendly community. We will enhance the capacity of local economic development agencies, elected officials and non-profit organizations to select and implement approaches targeted to support knowledge economy entrepreneur development within these communities. Technical training on nine entrepreneur based topics will be provided, including: Go Big Network, a web-based network providing resources to entrepreneurs Developing characteristics of a entrepreneurial friendly community including: Diverse sources of capital, enabling local culture, strong local networks, supportive infrastructure and entrepreneur friendly government Business retention, attraction and expansion support system Community strategic economic and community development planning Building regional clusters Creating Ag Entrepreneur opportunities linked to University research Finding, collecting and analyzing business data The use of incubators in supporting entrepreneurs Developing a Volunteer’s Center to support development activities Technical training and capacity building assistance on each topic will be targeted to the recipient local government units, non-profit organizations and economic development agencies Describe the outcomes or impact: Recipients will expand their existing capacity by supplementing their current development strategies, tools and priorities to serve entrepreneur based businesses, shifting from thinking solely of a manufacturing attraction approach to a new approach that will focus on the types of supportive services, amenities and resources sought by entrepreneurs. These include higher risk loans, incubator space, business support services, connection to highly educated workforce, capturing urban market share, finding partners including venture capitalists, recognizing and celebrating small business success, providing quality housing, open space, recreation, education, and cultural amenities, building/maintaining networks and clusters, and supporting infrastructure that rapidly transfers knowledge. A replicable program model will be designed and piloted. Curriculum and other materials will be made available to other communities through a Knowledge Economy website to be created by OSU Extension faculty. Discuss the potential implications for the Knowledge Economy: We will develop a model that can be used by other communities who choose to position themselves to understand and take advantage of the Knowledge Economy by building a local environment conducive to innovative entrepreneur location and growth. This effort will promote the knowledge economy as an innovative, effective approach to stimulating local economic vitality and growth. Contact Information: Myra Moss: Phone, 419.422.6106, E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org Bill Grunkemeyer: Phone, 330.263.3779, E-mail email@example.com