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Growing Jobs and Wealth: Economic Gardening in Oregon. JOBS. $3,000 . JOBS. $3,000 . Too good to be true? Maybe not. Who We Are. Valerie Plummer , Executive Director of Oregon Microenterprise Network (OMEN), AEO Board Member Michael Gurton , Program Director of OMEN’s Marketlink

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Too good to be true? Maybe not.

who we are
Who We Are
  • Valerie Plummer, Executive Director of Oregon Microenterprise Network (OMEN), AEO Board Member
  • Michael Gurton, Program Director of OMEN’s Marketlink
  • Bruce Sorte, Community Economist - Eastern Oregon; OSU Extension Service & AREc Rural Studies Program
about the oregon microenterprise network omen
About the Oregon Microenterprise Network (OMEN)
  • Statewide network of small business development service providers
  • Dedicated to helping Oregon’s smallest businesses
  • Nonprofit 501 (c)(3)
  • Key services:
    • Capacity Building for organizations
    • Access to Capital
    • Access to Markets
    • Policy Development
heard this
Heard this?
  • _____________
  • _____________
  • _____________

We could attract more companiesto Oregon if we just…

heard this1
Heard this?
  • _____________
  • _____________
  • _____________

We could grow more companies in Oregon if we just…

q where s the job growth
Q: Where’s the job growth?

A: Local companies with <100 employees.

Source: National Establishment Time Series

what are second stage businesses
What are second stage businesses?

“Second-stage companies are those that have grown past the startup stage but have not grown to maturity. They have enough employees to exceed the comfortable control span of one owner/CEO and benefit from adding professional managers, but they do not yet have a full-scale professional management team.

A business typically begins to enter its second stage when it approaches $1 million in total receipts.” -- Edward Lowe Foundation

Our purposes:

  • Private, Oregon-headquartered companies involved in traded sector or exportable services sector
  • Oregon headquartered
  • 10-99 employees
  • $1M to $50M revenues
  • Recent growth YoY

In addition to “economic hunting,”

Oregon should do more

economic gardening.

littleton colorado 1987
Littleton, Colorado, 1987

Littleton, Colorado, 1987


Two decades of economic gardening:

100% Jobs growth: 15,000 to 30,000

333% sales tax growth: $6 million to $20 million

(only 25% population growth: 32,800 to 41,000)

Harvard Kennedy School: “Top 25 Government Innovation”



  • Entrepreneurial companies create jobs
  • Homegrown – cultivate the good that’s here
  • Steady, sustainable – no ribbon cuttings
  • Companies drive their success – within a context
  • Second stage, export-oriented companies bring wealth to the area
the focus is on strategic issues
The Focus Is On Strategic Issues
  • Individual meetings with CEOs/Owners
  • Core strategy, market dynamics, team-building, sales development
  • Identify data needs - market, customer, and competitive
  • Research, analyze, respond
eg information to grow on
EG: Information To Grow On
  • Competitive intelligence, market analysis, sales leads, GIS
  • Strategic decision-making for growth –new markets, new products, grow sales
  • Customized for each company

“We have to grow small companies headquartered here. The biggest talent gap is in marketing and sales”

– Bob DeKoning,

Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

“It was exactly what we needed to

Find new customers and grow. We never would have done it without the help we got.” – Doug Robertson

how an eg team works
How an EG team works
  • Meets with company leadership to identify key needs
  • Conducts customized research and analysis
  • Reports to company
  • Assists company in strategic application of information
economic gardening in oregon
Economic Gardening in Oregon
  • City of Beaverton
  • Portland-Vancouver Regional Partners/Greenlight Greater Portland
  • Southern Oregon Regional Economic Gardening Program
  • Planned OSU rural pilot
portland regional program
Portland Regional Program
  • Started as a pilot last year (sponsored by Regional Partners and funded by EDA)
    • Served 30 businesses this year
    • Goal: 50 businesses in 2011
  • Referral process
  • Leverages existing community fabric/integrated into other ED services
  • Parameters reflective of area
  • Client testimonial
southern oregon regional program
Southern Oregon Regional Program
  • Pilot begun in June 2011
  • Diverse funding streams
  • SBDCs act as referral and implementation team
  • Parameters reflective of area
  • Leverages existing ED fabric
a path to a statewide program
A Path to a Statewide Program

One year of GrowFL:

$1.5 million investment

1,458 Jobs (592.7 direct, 406.7 indirect, 458.9 induced)

$281.2 million sales/output growth

$133.6 million additional GSP

Florida Governor defunded program May 2011


How many second stage businesses in Oregon?

D&B Data: private companies, Manufacturing NAICS, 10-99 employees, $1M to $50M in revenue

Does this fit the picture we have of Oregon?



  • Majority of “pure” second stage companies are along I-5/I-84 corridors
  • Looking to develop an Oregon definition of second stage
  • Considering a rural-specific approach
    • Possibly similar to OSU Pilot to be discussed later


  • HB 3644 (2010): Task Force on Stage Two Business Development & Economic Gardening
    • Business leaders, ec-dev practitioners, policymakers
    • Assess Oregon’s continuum of business services for stage two growth potential businesses
    • Recommend stage two business development strategy for Oregon
offering input
Offering input:

…and many more

osu slides
OSU Slides
  • Placeholder slides
interested in bringing eg to your community
Interested in Bringing EG to your Community?
  • Can the four EG services be knit together from existing providers in your community?
  • Can EG be integrated into existing ED services?
  • Can the program develop a diverse funding stream of local buy-in?
  • What is “second stage” in your community?
discussion points
Discussion Points
  • Questions about Economic Gardening?
  • How can a statewide program better serve interests of your community?
  • Other Questions?