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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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
Economic gardening as a model of economic development
Information needs of the entrepreneur
2 Case studies
Cutting tools company
Lessons learned / future directions
Small Business Assoc. Mich.
Growing Local Economies
Michigan Library Association
MSU (Agriculture, LPI, Business Library, Product Center)
Library of Michigan
Keweenaw, Houghton Counties
ID need for information
Research and report
Public Data Sources
Information needs of entrepreneurs fall into a few main categories:
Source: Christine Hamilton-Pennell, Michigan Train the Trainer presentation, September 2008, http://www.growinglocaleconomies.com.
Who are my competitors?
Who are my target customers?
What are the characteristics of my market?
What are the trends / developments in my industry?
Cutting Tools company
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.
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
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