SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT ACTION PLAN by ouz10208

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									SMALL BUSINESS &
ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT
ACTION PLAN

Cabarrus and Rowan Counties, North
Carolina



Submitted by:
MARKET STREET SERVICES, INC.
www.marketstreetservices.com


September 17, 2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction .......................................................................................................................2
Methodology ...................................................................................................................... 3

Part I: Create a new systematic approach to small business and entrepreneurial
development in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. .............................................................4

Part II: Reorganize the Cabarrus-Rowan entrepreneurial system around the Council’s
six service areas................................................................................................................ 10
     Assistance – Provide answers and referrals ........................................................... 10
     Education – Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction..................................... 12
     Capital Formation – Facilitate access to capital ......................................................13
     Networking – Strengthen networks and mentoring relationships....................... 14
     Youth – Build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent.................................................17
     Culture – Foster an environment that values entrepreneurship .......................... 19

Implementation Considerations..................................................................................... 23
  Priority Actions ............................................................................................................ 23
  Timeline ....................................................................................................................... 25
  Funding Needs and Sources ...................................................................................... 29

Conclusion ........................................................................................................................31




Action Plan                                                                                                                         1
September 2007
INTRODUCTION
The economic development marketplace has changed significantly over the past 30
years, and the traditional approach of relying exclusively on large manufacturers and
industrial recruitment to sustain local economic health is no longer viable. Today,
more and more economic development practitioners have recognized the new reality
that to foster sustainable, long-term job growth, they must pursue an equally-
committed three-way agenda: (1) generate and support a healthy entrepreneurial
climate; (2) foster existing business retention and expansion; and (3) pursue
recruitment activities focused on regional economic strengths, competitive
advantages, and national trends.

In the case of Cabarrus County and Rowan County, North Carolina, the
entrepreneurial piece may be the most important to taking the community to the
“next level” of economic health and prosperity. In recognition of this reality, local
leaders embarked on this process to develop a Small Business and Entrepreneurial
Development Action Plan. The local impetus for this decision was the plan to create
the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in downtown Kannapolis. This
significant new campus is designed to become a biotechnology research center
focused on food and nutrition, and is expected to generate powerful business activity.
Being built on the site of the former Pillowtex textile mill, the campus is one of the
largest redevelopment projects in North Carolina history.

The research and development activities that will occur at the NCRC are expected to
generate significant related small business activity. It is the hope of Cabarrus and
Rowan’s leaders that the expected NCRC-related entrepreneurial energy will also help
generate substantial small business activity in non-biotech business sectors, so the
Cabarrus-Rowan community will become a center of entrepreneurial activity for all
types of businesses. There will be opportunities for entrepreneur development as a
result of other economic drivers for the community, including the outward growth
from Charlotte, and growth in tourism and motorsports activity.

To fulfill the ambitions of the leaders of the NCRC and the Cabarrus-Rowan
community, local political and private sector leaders will need to take action to create
the necessary support structures to create a “culture of entrepreneurship.” For a
town once dominated by Pillowtex and the “mill town” mentality the plant generated
– and which has faced additional economic disappointments as recently as the June
2007 announcement that Cabarrus County will lose its biggest taxpayer when Phillip
Morris closes its 2,500-employee facility – achieving an entrepreneur-based economic
culture will require a true transformation in the importance that Cabarrus-Rowan’s
leaders place on entrepreneurship. It will require working with the existing
workforce, as well as building for the future by serving the entrepreneurial education
needs of Cabarrus and Rowan’s youth.




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September 2007
To determine what exactly the Cabarrus-Rowan community needs to do to achieve
their entrepreneurial economic ambitions, local leaders obtained the assistance of
Market Street Services, a national economic development firm based in Atlanta,
Georgia, to create this Small Business and Entrepreneurial Development Action Plan.
This Action Plan presents the actions that were determined necessary for Cabarrus-
Rowan to become an entrepreneur-friendly community positioned to help fulfill the
promise of the NCRC to the local economy, and the entire State of North Carolina.



METHODOLOGY
The process to develop this Action Plan began with an Entrepreneur System Assessment
which analyzed the local and regional entrepreneur system currently serving
Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. The Assessment was divided into six topic areas which
collectively address the primary concerns of starting, operating, and expanding a
small business successfully: education and training, technical assistance and
information resources, access to capital, networking, leadership and policy, and
business climate.

The Assessment was based on the findings of Market Street’s research of entities
currently serving entrepreneurs and small businesses in Cabarrus and Rowan
Counties, the Charlotte metro region, and the State of North Carolina. A stakeholder
input process also informed the findings. The input, which was collected the week of
May 14, 2007, included a series of interviews and focus groups of representatives of
local and regional organizations serving small businesses, and local entrepreneurs
and small business owners. Additionally, numerous phone calls and email
communications have rounded out Market Street’s knowledge to inform this Action
Plan.

All the key areas of concern discussed in the Entrepreneur System Assessment are
addressed in this Action Plan. The Action Plan also made use of leading theories of
how to successfully support an entrepreneur-friendly business environment, and best
practices in organizing an entrepreneurial and small business development program
and in pursuing specific program activities. This Action Plan is unique as it is
designed to “transform” the economic culture of Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.

This Action Plan is divided into two parts. The first addresses the creation of a new
systematic approach to small business and entrepreneurial development in Cabarrus
and Rowan Counties. The second addresses specific programmatic actions Cabarrus,
Rowan, and existing local and regional service providers can make to improve current
efforts. Taken together, these actions represent a significant charge and new
commitment to entrepreneurship and small business in the Cabarrus-Rowan
community.




Action Plan                                                                           3
September 2007
PART I: CREATE A NEW SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO
SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURIAL
DEVELOPMENT IN CABARRUS AND ROWAN COUNTIES.
Cabarrus and Rowan County is served by a large number of diverse entities in the
local area and wider Charlotte region dedicated to entrepreneur and small business
development. What Market Street heard during the stakeholder input process – and
what best practices support – is that the Cabarrus-Rowan community needs a more
systematic, centralized public face demonstrating the community’s commitment to
supporting small business and entrepreneurial development. This new “public face”
must be visible throughout the community and recognized as a powerful presence in
the economic development strategy for Cabarrus-Rowan Counties.

This “public face” could also serve the vital role of being the clear “go to” source for
entrepreneurs to learn where to go to get answers and find solutions to their specific
business concerns. Entrepreneurs – in the Cabarrus-Rowan stakeholder input
process and throughout the United States – consistently say that they most desire
“on-demand,” customized assistance when they need help opening or expanding
their business.

To address these concerns, many forward-thinking communities have developed a
clear, coordinated effort to create a central entity responsible for having strong,
partnership-based linkages with other service providers, and for providing certain
program activities not met elsewhere. One example is the Blue Ridge
Entrepreneurial Council (BREC), which was modeled after the Research Triangle’s
Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED). BREC was created by western
North Carolina’s AdvantageWest Economic Development Group to serve as its
vehicle for supporting entrepreneurs and promoting an entrepreneur-friendly
climate.

BREC’s activities are divided into four program areas: Education, Capital Formation,
Networking, and Communications. These activities are pursued in partnership with
other area organizations, including Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community
College, Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina at Asheville,
Western Carolina University, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A primary
component of BREC’s Capital Formation area is the work of the Blue Ridge Angel
Investors Network (BRAIN).

Market Street recommends that Cabarrus and Rowan’s leaders build from the CED
and BREC models to create the Cabarrus-Rowan Area Entrepreneurial Council
(“Council”) to be the masthead of the area’s small business and entrepreneurial
development work. To successfully create the Council, Cabarrus and Rowan’s leaders




Action Plan                                                                                4
September 2007
will need to agree to which entity will be responsible for being the visionary leader
(and staff support) for the initial organizational work.

Many of the Council’s activities will involve working with existing local and regional
service providers. The Council will maintain the vital role of serving as the “go to”
source and visionary leader for Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. If successful, the
Council’s work can foster a regional, even statewide, reputation for Cabarrus-Rowan
as being a center of entrepreneurial activity.

Revising the basic structure established by BREC based on the Cabarrus-Rowan
community’s specific needs, the following are the recommended service areas on
which the Council should focus its activities:

        ASSISTANCE – Provide answers and referrals
        EDUCATION – Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction
        CAPITAL FORMATION – Facilitate access to capital
        NETWORKING – Strengthen networks and mentoring relationships
        YOUTH – Build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent
        CULTURE – Foster an environment that values entrepreneurship

The following graphic illustrates the basic responsibilities of these six service areas.
Further details about how to proceed with these responsibilities are provided in Part
II of this Action Plan.




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September 2007
       Organizational Structure and Responsibilities of the Cabarrus-Rowan Area Entrepreneurial Council’s Service Areas




Action Plan                                                                                                               6
September 2007
The following graphic illustrates the proposed participants in the founding and
management (via a Board of Directors) of the new Council, and the entities that
would be key partners working with the Council to achieve its goals (as described in
the previous graphic).




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September 2007
The following action steps outline how the founding and other area partners should
go about establishing the new Council.

        Achieve consensus from Cabarrus and Rowan’s leaders about which entity
        will be responsible for being the visionary leader (and staff support) for the
        initial Council organizational work.
             o Natural leaders for this effort are likely to include the Cabarrus
                 Regional Chamber/EDC, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College,
                 and the Rowan County Chamber.
        Identify the leadership and organizational structure that will be most effective
        in bringing together support and succeeding in execution.
             o Determine whether the Council should be a new, separate entity or a
                 program within an existing organization.
        Garner the support of all identified founding partners to participate in the
        leadership of the Council.
             • Representation from both Rowan and Cabarrus Counties is
                 important, as is participation from both the public and private sectors.
        Seek the help of the CED and BREC to serve as technical advisors in the
        creation, organization, and operation of the Council.
             • The North Iowa Area Community College Pappajohn
                 Entrepreneurship Center (http://www.niacc.edu/pappajohn) is an
                 example of a community college-led effort to create a more systematic
                 approach to entrepreneurial development, which could be an
                 additional informative technical advisor if Cabarrus-Rowan’s leaders
                 want to learn more about how RCCC can play a leadership role in the
                 creation of the Council.
        Solicit both public and private sector sponsors to help fund the creation and
        operation of the Council.
             • Seek potential grant funding to create and operate the Council from
                 non-profit organizations (like the Kauffman Foundation), the State of
                 North Carolina, the federal government, and other potential sources.
        Obtain the commitment of local, regional, and other key North Carolina area
        service providers to serve as partners in the service areas of the Council.
        Garner partners, sponsors, and other necessary support to build or lease
        space for the Council at or near the NCRC.
        Staff the Council with a minimum of two persons to start (Director and
        Program Coordinator) who will be responsible for coordinating the Council’s
        activities and maintaining an up-to-date knowledge base of (1) basic
        information to help clients; (2) awareness of all service providers and capital
        resources available to them; and (3) a comprehensive network of potential
        client referrals.
             • Encourage partners to create a full or part-time staff presence at the
                 Council’s office to provide on-site technical assistance and help create




Action Plan                                                                            8
September 2007
                a strong network of service providers at the office to enhance the
                perception and reality of the Council as a clear “go to” source.
        Create a comprehensive, attractive, and informative website for the Council.
        Plan a “kick off” event to mark the opening of the Council.
            • The event should be focused on networking opportunities for
                entrepreneurs, small business owners, and service providers to meet
                each other and start strengthening relationships.




Action Plan                                                                            9
September 2007
PART II: REORGANIZE THE CABARRUS-ROWAN
ENTREPRENEURIAL SYSTEM AROUND THE COUNCIL’S
SIX SERVICE AREAS.
The following needed actions are organized by the service areas of the Council.
These recommendations are based on the good work already occurring in the area
and region, findings of the Entrepreneur System Assessment, and recognized best
practices in entrepreneurial and small business development work.


ASSISTANCE – PROVIDE ANSWERS AND REFERRALS
The provision of technical assistance is a vital service offering, because many
entrepreneurs place a high value on one-on-one counseling and question and answer
sessions. These sessions are considered valuable because counselors are better able
to tailor responses to specific needs than classroom or online assistance can, and
counselors can also better fulfill entrepreneurs’ desire for “on-demand” help.

It is recommended that the Council staff only provide basic information to clients,
and otherwise focus their role on maintaining a comprehensive referral network to
redirect clients to existing counselors. Many area and regional service providers have
already invested a significant amount in hiring and educating their staff to fulfill
these needs, so there is no reason for the Council to “recreate the wheel” in this area.
It is recommended the Council staff follow up with clients to ensure their referral
experience was a positive one.

When Council staff organize their list of referrals, they should focus their contact lists
on the primary business issues for entrepreneurs: addressing human resources,
managing finances, securing capital, managing operations, understanding licensing
and other legal concerns, accessing government contract opportunities, and pursuing
effective marketing tactics.

The following are some basic recommendations regarding how the Council will
pursue its Assistance responsibilities:

        Offer basic technical advice and a comprehensive list of helpful referrals.
            • Start by conducting a basic assessment of the entrepreneur’s plans
                 and abilities, to help both the Council staff person and the
                 entrepreneur understand the priority concerns to be addressed by the
                 referrals.
        Maintain a comprehensive service provider, regulatory office, and available
        capital resource guide.
            • Partner with Central Piedmont Community College’s Institute for
                 Entrepreneurship to transform BizHub into a comprehensive, widely-



Action Plan                                                                             10
September 2007
                 recognized resource for Charlotte area entrepreneurs and small
                 businesses.
                         On the Council’s website, provide a very visible link to the
                         new BizHub site.
                         To develop ideas for how BizHub can be a more fully-
                         optimized resource, consider the example of Kansas City’s
                         KCSourceLink (http://www.kcsourcelink.com). The site
                         includes a list of resources, resource navigator, resource
                         directory, resource library, and a toll-free referral phone line
                         staffed by knowledgeable, friendly personnel. KCSourceLink
                         also tracks inquiries and the impact of its service provider
                         partners work to determine how its system may be able to
                         work even more effectively in the future.
        On the Council’s website, maintain a step-by-step, interactive web-based “how
        to” guide about starting a business in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.
        Making use of the interactive capabilities of a website by providing direct
        links to requisite regulatory offices and service provider websites, these types
        of guides are incredibly useful tools for small business start-ups.
            • Begin developing the content by using the static versions currently
                 offered by the Cabarrus and Rowan Chambers, and other resources
                 available, such as those of the North Carolina Rural Center’s Institute
                 for Rural Entrepreneurship.
                         Continue to offer an updated static version for clients who
                         may prefer a downloadable, printable guide.
            • Include in the guide a section educating entrepreneurs about how to
                 successfully market themselves to lending institutions to secure bank
                 loans.
                         As feasible, partner with local commercial banks to develop
                         this portion of the resource.
                         In the resource, as needed, develop different guidelines based
                         on the type of business – i.e., lifestyle or high growth
                         entrepreneurs – and the industry sector of the business – i.e.,
                         biotech enterprise, consulting firm, retail store, etc.
        Host quarterly networking meetings for local and regional service providers.
            • Focus the meetings on fostering relationships to maintain a strong
                 web of knowledgeable referral contacts.
            • At the events, encourage service providers to identify where there may
                 be gaps and overlaps in their assistance programs that can be resolved
                 by working together, with the Council serving as an intermediary
                 advisor and resolution identification resource.




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September 2007
EDUCATION – REFER ENTREPRENEURS TO AVAILABLE INSTRUCTION
While entrepreneurs say they often prefer “on demand” assistance than course
schedules allow, education programs are still a necessary and useful component of
any comprehensive entrepreneurial support system.

Currently, there are a number of entities in the Cabarrus, Rowan, and wider
Charlotte area providing classroom-based instruction for entrepreneurs and small
business owners. Therefore, unless demand patterns change, it is not recommended
that the Council directly offer instruction. Instead, the Council will serve as a leading
advocate for improving the availability of programming and will help direct interested
persons to the courses being offered by the Small Business Center, SBTDC, and
other local and regional partners.

        Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction.
        Assemble and staff an education partners’ task force dedicated to filling gaps
        and resolving unnecessary overlaps in available instruction.
            • Obtain, at a minimum, the participation of the Small Business Center
                and SBTDC, as the most widely-recognized education providers
                serving Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.
            • Organize semi-annual meetings of the Task Force, focused on
                comparing upcoming course schedule plans to ensure a variety of
                topics and target audiences are being covered by the collective course
                offerings of area and regional partners.
                        Already identified as an area of need, develop more advanced
                        courses to serve small businesses interested in expanding
                        their knowledge base to facilitate a successful high-growth
                        period of development.
        Offer equipment for entrepreneurs to view video, online, or other “on-
        demand” training services.
            • Work with the Small Business Center, SBTDC, e-NC Authority and
                other relevant resources to identify video, online, or alternative forms
                of “on-demand” training to advance accessibility to course materials.
            • Determine the feasibility of the Council, Small Business Center,
                SBTDC, and other providers making equipment available for clients
                to view the materials at their convenience.




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September 2007
CAPITAL FORMATION – FACILITATE ACCESS TO CAPITAL
The greatest perceived impediment to the opening and expansion of a small business
is most often the availability of capital. While there is a wide-range of capital-
generating opportunities available to the Cabarrus-Rowan community, there are also
means by which the area’s private and public leaders could help support its
entrepreneurs by creating additional capital resources.

Stakeholder input suggested the type of capital resources most desired by Cabarrus-
Rowan area entrepreneurs are seed capital funds. Economic development
practitioners knowledgeable of entrepreneurial capital formation best practices often
emphasize the creation of angel investor networks and revolving loan funds. Another
viable resource, commercial banks, have long been a good source of loans,
particularly when they can be guaranteed via one of the programs of the U.S. Small
Business Administration (SBA). Stakeholder input suggested that generally
Cabarrus-Rowan entrepreneurs have had success pursuing SBA-backed loans from
commercial banks.

The Council’s roles in the Capital Formation area are (1) to refer clients to available
resources; (2) to help identify the most needed or feasible form of creating new
resources; and (3) to encourage the most appropriate entity to be the provider of those
new resources. The most promising potential new resources would be a local angel
investors network, revolving loan fund, and seed capital fund. Combined, these three
approaches will reach out to both the public and private sectors to encourage an
investment in area entrepreneurs, and will help meet the needs of both high-growth
and lifestyle entrepreneurs.

         Refer entrepreneurs to available capital resources.
         As local demand supports, pursue feasible means of creating a local angel
         investors network, revolving loan fund, and seed capital fund.
             • Begin generating support for the creation of a locally-based angel
                 investors network (possibly named the Cabarrus-Rowan Angel
                 Investors Network) for Cabarrus-Rowan area high-growth
                 entrepreneurs.
                         Once enough private sector “angel” investors have been
                         assembled, construct the network in a manner that will
                         complement, not duplicate, existing angel groups in the
                         Charlotte area (Wed3, Carolina Angel Forum), and the
                         upcoming State of North Carolina’s Kannapolis-based
                                                              1
                         Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF).



1
 The fund was first implemented in 2003 in the Piedmont Triad, and the State of North Carolina plans
to establish a Kannapolis-based IMAF soon. http://www.inceptionmicroangelfund.com.




Action Plan                                                                                        13
September 2007
                         Develop the parameters of the group’s activities by following
                         the guidelines developed by the Kauffman Foundation and
                                                                             2
                         members of the Angel Capital Association (ACA).
             •    Determine an entity to offer a revolving loan fund for Cabarrus-
                  Rowan area lifestyle entrepreneurs.
                         To establish the loan fund, source funds from grant
                         opportunities and the public and private sectors.
                         Carefully define eligibility considerations, parameters of the
                         loan amounts and terms (could be as small as $5,000 to
                         $10,000 to make a positive impact), and other administrative
                         needs.
             •    Consider also establishing a local seed-capital fund for Cabarrus-
                  Rowan area start-ups with the potential to become high-growth
                  entrepreneurs.
                         To establish the loan fund, source funds from grant
                         opportunities and the public and private sectors.
                         An example of a pre-seed capital fund to potentially use as a
                         model is the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund
                         (http://www.annarborspark.org/business-resources/business-
                         growth-expansion/pre-seed-fund). As advertised by Ann
                         Arbor SPARK, eligible companies must have finalized
                         concept development and analysis, and established specific
                         milestones. The Fund funds $50,000 to $250,000 per
                         company, with a dollar for dollar investment partner match.


NETWORKING – STRENGTHEN NETWORKS AND MENTORING
RELATIONSHIPS
Experts and experienced entrepreneurs generally agree – entrepreneurs get their
most valuable, helpful information from their peers, in the form of casual networks
or more organized mentoring and networking programs. These types of programs
also are incredibly useful means of fostering a strong spirit of entrepreneurialism in
a community.

There are a number of networking groups in the Charlotte area, including the
activities of the Cabarrus Chamber and Rowan Chamber, which have had varying
levels of success. Networking is an area where the Council could provide value-added
support in certain areas not currently covered by other groups. Two services the
Council will be best positioned to offer are (1) the coordination of a locally-based high-
growth networking group and (2) the creation of a comprehensive mentoring
program. This gives the Council the opportunity to develop a “core competency” in
the area of high-growth business networking, and allows the Cabarrus Chamber,

2
 “Starting a Group.” Angel Capital Association Resources. Accessed 17 Julyl 2007.
<http://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/dir_resources/starting_group.aspx.>




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September 2007
Rowan Chamber, and other area partners to maintain and further develop their “core
competency” in small business networking.

        Create a comprehensive peer-based mentoring program.
           • Focus on getting mentors who are experienced entrepreneurs, and
                representative of different business sectors.
           • Use as a potential model the best practice Helzberg Entrepreneurial
                Mentoring Program in Kansas City (http://helzbergmentoring.org).
                The program involves a three-year mentee-mentor relationship
                commitment. Mentoring relationships are identified based on an
                assessment of potential “chemistry.” In addition to the mentor
                relationship (who meet at least twice per month), there are regular
                group activities including mentor appreciation events, networking
                activities, field trips, and educational programs. Mentee participation
                is based on a selection process limited to 20 participants each year
                that meet certain program qualifications (include the following: must
                have at least 5 employees, annual revenues between $1 million and
                $75 million, a desire to grow the business, and display integrity).
           • Another potential model is the best practice Entrepreneurial League
                System begun in the West Virginia-Eastern Kentucky-Southern Ohio
                “Advantage Valley” region (http://www.entreleaguesystem.com).
                Modeled after baseball’s farm system, the program organizes
                entrepreneurs according to their skill level (Rookies, A, AA, AAA) and
                assigns them Performance Coaches to help guide them via weekly
                one-on-one sessions, monthly “team” meetings with their peers, and
                tri-annual larger group sessions.
        Coordinate a high-growth networking group.
           • Identify entrepreneurs already affiliated with the NCRC who can be
                encouraged to help initiate a local high-growth networking group.
                         Work with these entrepreneur leaders to develop a reasonable
                         timeline for launching the new networking group and event
                         ideas which will generate strong attendance.
                              • Include guest speakers and “speed networking”
                                   activities in the group’s event schedule.
                         Focus the group’s activities around the NCRC, to build upon
                         the critical mass of entrepreneurial activity which will occur in
                         that area.
           • Possible models for this group are CED’s MedTech and Tech Forums
                (http://www.cednc.org/programs_and_events/topics/networking_and
                _community) and the Technnology Association of Georgia (TAG,
                http://www.tagonline.org). CED’s two forum groups host regular
                meetings and networking sessions to explore and exchange ideas
                related to medical-related technology and information technology.
                TAG has over 100 networking meetings and special events each year,
                provides recognition and visibility to its members, offers discounts to




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September 2007
                 education opportunities, hosts field trips, and provides volunteer
                 opportunities focused on Georgia’s youth via the TAG Foundation
                 (http://www.tagonline.org/foundation.php)
        Refer lifestyle entrepreneurs and small business owners to the networking
        opportunities at the Cabarrus Chamber, Rowan Chamber, and other area
        providers.




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September 2007
YOUTH – BUILD A PIPELINE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL TALENT
Creating a more entrepreneurial-supportive culture in the Cabarrus-Rowan
community will take time. An important means of achieving that culture is
maintaining a strong commitment to the area’s future entrepreneurs, represented by
its youth.

In this area, the Council’s role is primarily that of an advocate. To be successful,
advancing youth entrepreneurship will require a commitment of the leadership of the
Kannapolis City District, Cabarrus County District, Rowan-Salisbury District, area
private and parochial schools, and non-profit organizations providing after-school and
summer activities for area youth.

There are certain Youth-related areas where the Council can have a more active role
than advocate. For example, the Council can help identify business professionals to
serve as mentors, guest speakers, field trip hosts, and sponsors, and, the Council can
work with the local school districts to develop and solicit sponsors for a Cabarrus-
Rowan Area High School Business Plan Competition. These types of competitions
are proven means of getting youth excited about their economic future.

The following actions focus on how the Council can best serve the advancement of
youth entrepreneurial education in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.

        Advocate for the three public school districts, area private and parochial
        schools, and local non-profit agencies serving area youth to offer
        entrepreneurial education programs at the elementary, middle, and high
        school levels. Include both classroom-based and after-school/summer activity
        focused programming.
            • Determine the best means of creating more comprehensive
                entrepreneur educational programs for Cabarrus-Rowan’s
                elementary, middle, and high school students.
                        To discuss possibilities, convene a “Youth Entrepreneurship
                        Conference” for the three superintendents, area private and
                        parochial school administrators, and leaders of local non-
                        profit agencies offering after-school and summer activities for
                        youth, to learn about and discuss the many choices available
                        to them to expand entrepreneur education.
                             • Invite other organizations to attend the conference
                                and present their knowledge, expertise, and best
                                practice programs. Invites could be sent to the
                                following: Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas,
                                NC REAL, North Carolina Cooperative Extension
                                Youth and 4H Programs, DECA
                                (http://www.deca.org), the Kauffman Foundation, the




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September 2007
                                  National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship,
                                  and any other entities identified.
            •    Encourage Cabarrus and Rowan public and private schools and non-
                 profit agencies serving area youth to include strong private sector
                 support in their entrepreneur education program design.
                         Create opportunities for business professionals,
                         entrepreneurs, and small business owners to serve as
                         mentors, guest speakers, field trip hosts, and sponsors.
                         Be creative in field trip ideas, for example, help coordinate a
                         field trip to the NCRC so students can better understand how
                         the campus helps foster entrepreneurial business
                         development in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.
                         To help de-stigmatize failure, a powerful means of fostering a
                         climate more supportive to entrepreneurs, include guest
                         speakers and field trip hosts who will tell stories regarding
                         “lessons learned” from their entrepreneurial failures.
            •    Develop a Cabarrus-Rowan Area High School Business Plan
                 Competition.
                         Design the program so that students can enter the same
                         business plan to the local competition and North Carolina’s
                         own “Hop on the Bus” competition
                         (http://www.hoponthebus.org), and encourage students to
                         participate in both.
                         Open the local competition to all high school students in
                         Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.
                         Include prize money, funded by the private sector.
                         Assess the viability of creating student incubator space where
                         competition winners can proceed with their business
                         ventures.
                              •   An example of a student incubator that can serve as a
                                  model is at Scotland Magnet High in Baton Rouge,
                                  Louisiana (program description:
                                  http://scotlandvillehigh.ebrschools.org/explore.cfm/p
                                  rograms/entrepreneurship; local press:
                                  http://news.ebrschools.org/explore.cfm/ebrpssnews/s
                                  cotlandvillemagnethigh)




Action Plan                                                                           18
September 2007
CULTURE – FOSTER AN ENVIRONMENT THAT VALUES
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Even the most proven support programs will fall short of measurable success if a
local community does not have a strong, established culture of encouraging
entrepreneurial activities.

As discussed in the Entrepreneur System Assessment, Cabarrus-Rowan’s leaders are
faced with the potential threat that the historically prevailing risk-averse business
climate and wary social climate of the Charlotte region, and the mill town mentality
specific to the Kannapolis area, may make it difficult for the Cabarrus-Rowan
community to foster a truly entrepreneur-friendly environment.

The Culture service area details the Council’s responsibility to work on overcoming
these historical trends, and to ultimately transform Cabarrus-Rowan into a
community with a strong entrepreneur culture – beginning with the future
represented by the youth currently enrolled in area schools. This service area also
addresses the recognized need to raise more awareness of all the good work service
providers and others are doing to generate more locally-grown small business activity
in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.

        Raise awareness about available services and capital support.
            • Work with partners to pursue a comprehensive public relations and
               marketing campaign regarding all the local and regional services and
               capital support available to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
                        Maintain two target audiences – one, those affiliated with the
                        NCRC, and two, entrepreneurs and small business owners in
                        the current population outside the NCRC.
                        For this second audience, distribute marketing materials at
                        local faith-based groups, neighborhood associations,
                        community service providers, secondary schools, colleges, etc.
            • Include marketing efforts that focus on raising awareness about not
               only the quantity, but also the variety (i.e., targeted audiences) and
               quality (i.e., measured by experience of instructors), of available
               education programs at the Small Business Center, SBTDC, and other
               area service providers.
                        Present testimonials from entrepreneurs who have had
                        positive experiences with area service providers.
            • Maintain and regularly update a contact list of area entrepreneurs and
               small business owners.
                        Create two email distribution lists, one targeting high-growth
                        businesses and the other lifestyle businesses.
                        Use these email lists to circulate a regular e-newsletter
                        covering subjects of interest, and serving as a means of



Action Plan                                                                             19
September 2007
                      advertising networking and other events and raising
                      awareness about available services and capital support.
                      To develop the high-growth business contact list, establish a
                      relationship to facilitate early connections made between the
                      Council and tenants of the NCRC.
        Demonstrate that Cabarrus-Rowan is an entrepreneur-friendly community.
          • Regularly encourage local and regional print, online, and broadcast
             media to profile successful entrepreneurs and small business owners
             in a variety of business sectors.
                      To help de-stigmatize failure, a powerful means of fostering a
                      climate more supportive to entrepreneurs, also include stories
                      regarding “lessons learned” from entrepreneurs who have
                      experienced failures.
                      Raise awareness of opportunities for local businesses to work
                      with NCRC tenants. Provide coverage of “success stories” of
                      businesses that have been able to win contracts with the
                      Research Campus.
          • Host an annual business plan competition, with prize money and, as
             feasible, other start-up assistance, presented to the winner.
                      The assistance package, offered to winning businesses who
                      agree to open in Cabarrus or Rowan Counties, could include
                      support such as discounted office space lease rates, permit fee
                      waivers, tax credits, etc.
          • Create an annual Cabarrus-Rowan Entrepreneur Celebration event,
             with the following activities:
                      Headline a widely-recognized keynote speaker who will share
                      his or her entrepreneurial failure and success stories.
                      Announce the business plan competition and small business
                      of the year award winners.
                          •   Offer two or more small business of the year awards,
                              creating different categories based on sector; for
                              example, one awarded to a biotech-based business,
                              another awarded to a services-based business, etc.
                      Recognize staff at the Council, county and municipality
                      regulatory offices, and local and regional service providers
                      who have proven to be reliable sources of dependable
                      information or referrals, or otherwise who have done the most
                      to support area entrepreneurs and small business owners.
          • Ideally completed by an objective third party, conduct an annual
             assessment of area entrepreneurial activity, with two primary
             components: a score card and focus group(s) of area entrepreneurs.
                      Use the score card to monitor and raise awareness of
                      entrepreneurial activity in the Cabarrus-Rowan area. The
                      score card should present data such as number of business




Action Plan                                                                       20
September 2007
                         starts vs. failures, survival rates, job growth, per capita
                         income, etc.
                         Use the focus groups to identify any changes in
                         entrepreneurs’ most pressing needs and concerns related to
                         starting, operating, and expanding a small business in the
                         Cabarrus-Rowan area.
                         Use the findings of the score card and focus groups to adjust
                         the Council’s work as needed – i.e. expanding or redirecting
                         its activities – to more effectively address the needs and
                         concerns of the area’s entrepreneurs.
                         Share these findings and changes with the Council’s partners,
                         to help them understand how they may need to alter their
                         activities, and local and regional media, to raise awareness of
                         Cabarrus-Rowan’s commitment to being a leader in
                         entrepreneurial development.
        Bring local chambers of commerce and other key partners together to support
        opportunities to hire and elect qualified leaders with experience in
        entrepreneurship.
            • For example, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is currently in the
                process of hiring a new president. Having one with direct experience
                and expertise in entrepreneurship will help make RCCC a stronger
                institution and foster an environment that values entrepreneurship.
        Maintain awareness of entrepreneurs’ business climate concerns, and work
        with business and government partners to advocate for improvements.
            • Initial focuses should be on those issues raised in the Entrepreneur
                System Assessment:
                         Numerous participants of the stakeholder input process
                         expressed concerns regarding Cabarrus-Rowan’s ability to
                         accommodate and pay for the growth that will occur after the
                         opening of the NCRC, and do so without losing any of the
                         community’s existing character. Identified threats include
                         fears regarding overburdening the local road/highway
                         network, water/sewer system, and public education system,
                         and, if not properly planned for, creating an unattractive land
                         use pattern not conducive to pedestrian activity.
                         Almost all of the business owner participants expressed
                         concerns about their ability – and the ability of future
                         entrepreneurs/businesses affiliated with the NCRC – to find
                         qualified workers locally. A few also expressed concerns
                         about their ability to recruit well-educated researchers and
                         other professionals to work and live in the area, based on
                         concerns regarding the K-12 education system for their
                         children, the housing market, and the local social climate.




Action Plan                                                                           21
September 2007
            •    Subsequent focuses should be identified via daily communications
                 with area entrepreneurs, and the findings of the annual focus groups
                 (of the previous action step).




Action Plan                                                                        22
September 2007
IMPLEMENTATION CONSIDERATIONS
This Action Plan is ambitious, but not unrealistic for the Cabarrus-Rowan community
to achieve. To assist the community’s leaders with initial implementation, Market
Street has outlined some initial considerations regarding the priority actions and
expected funding needs and potential sources of funding.


Priority Actions
Priority actions are those which represent the minimum amount of work Cabarrus-
Rowan’s leaders should engage in, if resources or other considerations make it
prohibitive to embark on the full spectrum of recommendations outlined in this
Action Plan in the immediate future.

The intent of Part I, to create a systematic approach with the new Council as the
public face of Cabarrus-Rowan’s commitment to entrepreneurial development, is a
key priority. As stated, the pursuit of the Council concept will have to begin by
Cabarrus and Rowan’s leaders coming to an agreement about which entity will be
responsible for being the visionary leader (and staff support) for the initial
organizational work. Based on current economic development programs and
commitment to entrepreneurial and small business activity, there are several natural
leaders in creating this new effort. They are the Cabarrus Regional Chamber/EDC,
the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and the Rowan County Chamber. These
three entities logically could be the executive committee of the Council and the
groups most likely to be able to staff the new programs. Once consensus on initial
organization achieved, further considerations, such as the specific leadership and
organizational structure, will need to be resolved. Part of the discussion will be
determining whether the Council should be a new entity or part of an existing
organization. These “start-up” activities and ongoing Council operations should
include representation from both Rowan and Cabarrus Counties, and from both the
public and private sectors.

The following bullets serve to highlight recommended priorities from Part II’s action
steps regarding the Council’s activities. Those areas, such as Youth, that have the
greatest impact on transforming Cabarrus-Rowan into an entrepreneur-friendly
business climate will be where the Council has the most value-added role to play
within the existing small business and entrepreneurial service providers’ network.

Assistance – Provide answers and referrals
        Offer basic technical advice and a comprehensive list of helpful referrals.
        Be a supportive partner to Central Piedmont Community College’s Institute
        for Entrepreneurship management of the new BizHub site.




Action Plan                                                                        23
September 2007
        Create a web-based, interactive “how to” start a business guide for the
        Cabarrus-Rowan community.
        Host annual networking meetings for local and regional service providers.

Education – Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction
        Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction.
        Assemble and staff an education partners’ task force dedicated to filling gaps
        and resolving unnecessary overlaps in available instruction.
        Encourage RCCC and the SBTDC to offer equipment for entrepreneurs to
        view video, online, or other “on-demand” training services.

Capital Formation – Facilitate access to capital
        Refer entrepreneurs to available capital resources.
        Determine an entity to offer a revolving loan fund for Cabarrus-Rowan area
        lifestyle entrepreneurs (high-growth entrepreneurs are presently better served
        by available funding opportunities, so they are not a “priority” focus related to
        Capital Formation).

Networking – Strengthen networks and mentoring relationships
        Encourage the creation of informal mentor relationships by helping connect
        interested mentees to potential mentors.
        Coordinate a high-growth networking group.
        Refer lifestyle entrepreneurs and small business owners to the networking
        opportunities at the Cabarrus Chamber, Rowan Chamber, and other area
        providers.

Youth – Build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent
        Advocate for the three public school districts and area private and parochial
        schools to offer entrepreneurial education programs at the elementary,
        middle, and high school levels.
        Advocate for local non-profit agencies serving area youth to expand
        extracurricular activities focused on encouraging entrepreneurialism.

Culture – Foster an environment that values entrepreneurship
        Raise awareness about available services and capital support – and the quality
        and diversity of those services – via public relations, an email-based
        marketing campaign, and distribution of basic print marketing materials at
        the NCRC, local faith-based groups, neighborhood associations, community
        service providers, secondary schools, colleges, etc.
        Maintain and regularly update a contact list of area entrepreneurs and small
        business owners to circulate a regular e-newsletter covering subjects of



Action Plan                                                                             24
September 2007
        interest, and serving as a means of advertising networking and other events
        and raising awareness about available services and capital support.
        Demonstrate that Cabarrus-Rowan is an entrepreneur-friendly community.
            • Regularly encourage local and regional print, online, and broadcast
                media to profile successful entrepreneurs and small business owners
                – and their business failures – in a variety of business sectors.
            • Host an annual business plan competition, with prize money and, as
                feasible, other start-up assistance, presented to the winner.
        Create an annual Cabarrus-Rowan Entrepreneur Celebration event.
        Conduct an annual assessment of area entrepreneurial activity, with two
        primary components: a score card and focus group(s) of area entrepreneurs.
        Support opportunities to hire and elect qualified leaders with experience in
        entrepreneurship.
        Maintain awareness of entrepreneurs’ business climate concerns, and work
        with the Cabarrus and Rowan Chambers to advocate for improvements.

Making an Impact
There are a few specific actions that have the most potential for making a significant
impact on creating an entrepreneurial culture in Cabarrus-Rowan. Those would be:

                 Advance youth entrepreneur education and awareness
                 Coordinate a high-growth networking group
                 Host an annual business plan competition
                 Create additional capital support resources (i.e., angel investors
                 network, revolving loan fund, seed capital fund)



Timeline
It will take some time for the Entrepreneurial Council to be created, organized,
funded, and staffed. The start-up process for the Council can be divided into three
parts, each with milestones towards being up and running, as shown in the following
figure.




Action Plan                                                                           25
September 2007
                              Council Start-Up Steps and Milestones




The following table shows the suggested timeline for each primary action step. Many
of these are ongoing activities, so the timeframe denotes the starting year, keeping in
mind that some activities will require some time to get organized and gain
momentum. Many of the activities begin in the first two years. The timing coincides
to some degree with the development of the Research Campus and the expected
initial arrival of businesses to the campus.

                         Implementation Timeline – by Service Area
                                         ASSISTANCE
         Timeframe                                        Action Step
    Begins in 2009 (Year 1)         Offer basic technical advice and a comprehensive list of
                                    helpful referrals.
                                    Maintain a comprehensive service provider, regulatory office,
                                    and available capital resource guide. (Includes working with
                                    BizHub)
                                    Host quarterly networking meetings for local and regional
                                    service providers.
    Begins in 2010 (Year 2)         On the Council’s website, maintain a step-by-step, interactive
                                    web-based “how to” guide about starting a business in
                                    Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.




Action Plan                                                                                     26
September 2007
                                     EDUCATION
         Timeframe                                    Action Step
    Begins in 2009 (Year 1)    Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction.
    Begins in 2010 (Year 2)    Assemble and staff an education partners’ task force
                               dedicated to filling gaps and resolving unnecessary overlaps
                               in available instruction.
    Begins in 2012 (Year 4)    Offer equipment for entrepreneurs to view video, online, or
                               other “on-demand” training services.
                               CAPITAL FORMATION
         Timeframe                                    Action Step
    Begins in 2009 (Year 1)    Refer entrepreneurs to available capital resources.
    Begins in 2010 (Year 2)    As local demand supports, pursue feasible means of creating
                               a local angel investors network, revolving loan fund, and seed
                               capital fund.
                                    NETWORKING
         Timeframe                                    Action Step
    Begins in 2009 (Year 1)    Coordinate a high-growth networking group.
                               Refer lifestyle entrepreneurs and small business owners to
                               the networking opportunities at the Cabarrus Chamber,
                               Rowan Chamber, and other area providers.
    Begins in 2012 (Year 4)    Create a comprehensive peer-based mentoring program.
                                        YOUTH
         Timeframe                                    Action Step
    Begins in 2011 (Year 3)    Advocate for the three public school districts, area private and
                               parochial schools, and local non-profit agencies serving area
                               youth to offer entrepreneurial education programs at the
                               elementary, middle, and high school levels. (Includes youth
                               entrepreneurship conference, business engagement, and high
                               school business plan competition)
                                      CULTURE
         Timeframe                                    Action Step
    Begins in 2009 (Year 1)    Raise awareness about available services and capital
                               support.
                               Bring local chambers of commerce and other key partners
                               together to support opportunities to hire and elect qualified
                               leaders with experience in entrepreneurship.
    Begins in 2010 (Year 2)    Demonstrate that Cabarrus-Rowan is an entrepreneur-friendly
                               community. (Includes use of media, business plan
                               competition, celebration event, and annual assessment)
    Begins in 2012 (Year 4)    Maintain awareness of entrepreneurs’ business climate
                               concerns, and work with business and government partners to
                               advocate for improvements.


The following table shows the same timeline, organized by year to begin
implementation of the action step.




Action Plan                                                                                    27
September 2007
                        Implementation Timeline – by Starting Year
                                      YEAR 1 – 2009
    Service Area                                     Action Step
    Assistance             Offer basic technical advice and a comprehensive list of helpful
                           referrals.
                           Maintain a comprehensive service provider, regulatory office, and
                           available capital resource guide. (Includes working with BizHub)
                           Host quarterly networking meetings for local and regional service
                           providers.
    Education              Refer entrepreneurs to available instruction.
    Capital Formation      Refer entrepreneurs to available capital resources.
    Networking             Coordinate a high-growth networking group.
                           Refer lifestyle entrepreneurs and small business owners to the
                           networking opportunities at the Cabarrus Chamber, Rowan
                           Chamber, and other area providers.
    Culture                Raise awareness about available services and capital support.
                           Bring local chambers of commerce and other key partners together
                           to support opportunities to hire and elect qualified leaders with
                           experience in entrepreneurship.
                                      YEAR 2 – 2010
    Service Area                                     Action Step
    Assistance             On the Council’s website, maintain a step-by-step, interactive web-
                           based “how to” guide about starting a business in Cabarrus and
                           Rowan Counties.
    Education              Assemble and staff an education partners’ task force dedicated to
                           filling gaps and resolving unnecessary overlaps in available
                           instruction.
    Capital Formation      As local demand supports, pursue feasible means of creating a local
                           angel investors network, revolving loan fund, and seed capital fund.
    Culture                Demonstrate that Cabarrus-Rowan is an entrepreneur-friendly
                           community. (Includes use of media, business plan competition,
                           celebration event, and annual assessment)
                                      YEAR 3 – 2011
    Service Area                                     Action Step
    Youth                  Advocate for the three public school districts, area private and
                           parochial schools, and local non-profit agencies serving area youth
                           to offer entrepreneurial education programs at the elementary,
                           middle, and high school levels. (Includes youth entrepreneurship
                           conference, business engagement, and high school business plan
                           competition)
                                      YEAR 4 – 2012
    Service Area                                     Action Step
    Education              Offer equipment for entrepreneurs to view video, online, or other “on-
                           demand” training services.
    Networking             Create a comprehensive peer-based mentoring program.
    Culture                Maintain awareness of entrepreneurs’ business climate concerns,
                           and work with business and government partners to advocate for
                           improvements.




Action Plan                                                                                      28
September 2007
Funding Needs and Sources
Assuming the full-spectrum of recommendations in the Action Plan is pursued, both
the private and public sector in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties will need to be
involved. Additionally, there are potential grant funding opportunities. The potential
sources of funding will be described further in the subsequent section, but first, an
estimation of funding needs to implement the Action Plan are detailed below.

Funding Needs
Most of the Council’s functions will be related to working with other service
providers and referral networks, coordinating and planning certain activities, and
marketing efforts. Thus, the primary costs of creating and operating the Council are
office space and equipment, staff salaries and benefits, and marketing. The primary
additional costs of implementing this Action Plan are the funding of the
recommended revolving loan fund, and the possibility of creating a seed capital fund
and angel investors network.

The office space, equipment, salaries, and benefit costs will be determined primarily
by the number of staff the Council has (and whether or not it is determined that the
Council will be initially housed in an existing entity’s office space). It is
recommended that the Council begin with a minimum of two staff. The function of
those positions would be a Director and a Program Coordinator.

The following are estimated ranges for the minimum initial annual costs of the key
expenditure areas for Cabarrus-Rowan’s Council:

         Office space (if not housed within an existing organization) – $25,000 to
                  3
         $35,000
                                                                         4
         Office equipment (year-one expenditure) – $4,000 to $10,000
                                                                       5
         Staff salaries and benefits: – $165,000 to $200,000 per year
         Marketing – $50,000 per year

Total Minimal Cost Estimate: $244,000 to $295,000 (or $219,000-$260,000
without the office space costs)

3
  The estimate is based on industry standards of desirable space per staff person and CB Richard Ellis’
second quarter 2007 Charlotte Office MarketView Average Asking Lease Rate estimate of $18.01 square
feet per year in the Northeast portion of the Charlotte region.
4
  Equipment needs included in the estimate were computer, phone, internet, and combination
copier/printer/scanner/fax machine. Prices were based on those currently advertised on Office Depot’s
website.
5
  Salaries and benefits based on a two-person staff, Director and Program Coordinator.




Action Plan                                                                                          29
September 2007
It should be noted that funding should increase as activity ramps up and additional
staffing and marketing resources are needed.

Funding Source Options
In order to be a vehicle for both private and public sector support, it is recommended
that the Council use an existing 501(c)3 and be classified as a special fund or program
inside the foundation.

The primary options for generating funds to support the Council’s activities will be:

        Annual commitments from leading investors (counties, cities, chambers,
        colleges, universities, NCRC/Castle & Cooke, etc.).
        Regular donations from other public and private sector investors.
        Grant opportunities, including, but not limited to, the possibility of ones from
        the following entities:
            •    Kauffman Foundation (http://www.kauffman.org)
            •    W.K. Kellogg Foundation (http://www.wkkf.org)
            •    State of North Carolina Department of Commerce
                 (http://www.nccommerce.com)
            •    U.S. Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov)
            •    U.S. Economic Development Administration (http://www.eda.gov)




Action Plan                                                                             30
September 2007
CONCLUSION
The opening of the North Carolina Research Campus provides the Cabarrus-Rowan
community with the opportunity to reinvent its image, business culture, and
economic structure. Impacting each of these factors are the opportunities for
entrepreneur development and small business growth that will come directly from
the R&D activities at the NCRC, affiliated businesses, and other opportunities as the
community develops a reputation as an entrepreneur-friendly economy. Other
opportunities for entrepreneur development will come from economic growth due to
proximity to Charlotte, and tourism and motorsports activities.

This Small Business and Entrepreneurial Development Action Plan provides Cabarrus
and Rowan’s leaders with a blueprint to follow to begin developing a stronger support
system for its entrepreneurs. In order to realize the full promise of what the NCRC
can offer, Cabarrus and Rowan’s leaders must make a commitment to
entrepreneurial development that is significant – a commitment which is at least as
much as what is currently being dedicated to recruitment activities. Achieving an
entrepreneur-friendly status will require the support of both public and private sector
leaders in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties, and additional support from Charlotte area
and State-level partners.

This Action Plan represents an opportunity for Cabarrus and Rowan to create a strong
entrepreneur “leg” for the three-legged “stool” of best practice economic development
programming: (1) entrepreneur and small business development; (2) existing
business retention and expansion; and (3) targeted recruitment. In fact,
entrepreneurship has the potential to become an even larger economic engine for
Cabarrus and Rowan than the recruitment of large employers.

Ultimately, by remaining dedicated to a clear vision for the future and adhering to
what has been found to be most helpful to entrepreneurs and small businesses,
Cabarrus-Rowan can become a recognized leader in entrepreneur and small business
development.




Action Plan                                                                          31
September 2007

								
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