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An Economic Gardening Project in Michigan: Libraries as Strategic Partners in Local Economic Development Efforts Barbara Fails – MSU Land Policy Institute - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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An Economic Gardening Project in Michigan: Libraries as Strategic Partners in Local Economic Development Efforts Barbara Fails – MSU Land Policy Institute Liz Kudwa – Capital Area District Library Laura Leavitt – MSU Business Library Nicolette Sosulski – Portage District Library

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An Economic Gardening Project in Michigan: Libraries as Strategic Partners in Local Economic Development Efforts Barbara Fails – MSU Land Policy Institute

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An Economic Gardening Project in Michigan:

Libraries as Strategic Partners in Local Economic Development Efforts

Barbara Fails – MSU Land Policy Institute

Liz Kudwa – Capital Area District Library

Laura Leavitt – MSU Business Library

Nicolette Sosulski – Portage District Library

MLA Annual Conference – November 4, 2009


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Agenda

Economic gardening as a model of economic development

Information needs of the entrepreneur

2 Case studies

Woodworking company

Cutting tools company

Lessons learned / future directions


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“Economic Gardening”

  • Community based support for entrepreneurs

    • System of services, resources, infrastructure

  • Strategy for economic development

    • Entrepreneurs create jobs

    • Grow your own (vs. recruiting)

  • Michigan pilot modeled after Littleton, Colo.

    • Focus on serving growth oriented companies

      • Business coaching

      • Strategic information (competitive intelligence)


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Michigan Pilot Program Partners

Small Business Assoc. Mich.

Growing Local Economies

Shepherd Advisors

Michigan Library Association

MSU (Agriculture, LPI, Business Library, Product Center)

Library of Michigan

USDA

Tuscola County

Keweenaw, Houghton Counties


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Client – Coach - Researcher

The Process

Pre-qualify clients

ID need for information

Research and report

Develop strategies

The Research

Customers

Competitors

Markets

Trends


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Pilot Program Service Delivery Model

Community Model

MSU

MLA

EG

Consultant

Service Providers

Coach

Public Data Sources

Coach

Community Librarian

Coach

Entrepreneur’s Path


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Key Questions

Information needs of entrepreneurs fall into a few main categories:

  • Who are my competitors?

  • Who are my target customers?

  • What are the characteristics of my market?

  • What are the trends and developments in my industry?

Source: Christine Hamilton-Pennell, Michigan Train the Trainer presentation, September 2008, http://www.growinglocaleconomies.com.


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Key Question 1

Who are my competitors?

  • Who else is in my space?

  • What are their basic offerings (product, service, price, market strategies, delivery method, etc.)?

  • With whom could I partner?


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Key Question 2

Who are my target customers?

  • What are their characteristics?

  • Do they want what I have to offer?

  • What will they pay for it?

  • In my customers’ eyes, what differentiates me from my competitors?

  • Where can I get lists of potential customers to let them know about my offerings?


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Key Question 3

What are the characteristics of my market?

  • How large is it?

  • Is it shrinking or growing?

  • What are the potential niches?

  • What are the channels of distribution to get my offerings to the market?


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Key Question 4

What are the trends / developments in my industry?

  • What are the current trends?

  • What are the future forecasts?

  • Who are the industry leaders?

    • Companies

    • People

  • What are the best practices?

  • How is technology impacting the industry?

  • How do I stay up to date?


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EG Case Study 1

Woodworking Company

  • Goal: expand business/get new customers

    • Increase reach of existing products by providing lists of potential new customers

    • Identify industry trends

  • Librarian role:

    • Research suggested new markets/customers

  • Resources used

  • Time commitment


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EG Case Study 2

Cutting Tools company

  • Goal: expand business/get new customers

    • Increase reach of existing products

  • Librarian role:

    • Research suggested new markets

  • Resources used

  • Time commitment


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Lessons Learned

Collaboration/teamwork is vital.

Must manage expectations from the beginning.

Synthesizing data and making recommendations can be challenging.

Quality business information can be elusive and/ or expensive.

Primary research often needed.

Time consuming.


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Opportunities for MI Libraries

Libraries have a vital role to play in the health of local economies

Facilitate access to valuable business information

Share expertise in searching and organizing information

with community partners

Refer clients to appropriate service providers

Provide meeting space and access to technology


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Join Us!

MLA’s Economic Development Community of Practice

Collaboration, support & toolkit

Advice on determining the level of need, when to help and when to refer

Development of asset map of MI service providers

Development of free list of free business info resources

Support for identifying and reaching out to community partners

Support for increasing comfort level with business information



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