If you missed the Economic Gardening presentation on October 30, 2014, Click Here to view the presentation and watch the video below:

Victoria Provenza has participated in economic gardening programs across the United States and plans to bring this innovative entrepreneurial focused program to Shreveport to boost economic development.  The program's philosophy helps existing companies within a community grow larger by focusing on strategic growth challenges such as: developing new markets, refining existing business models, and gaining access to competitive intelligence by making publicly-funded resources available. Economic gardening is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within. </p> <p>First pioneered in Littleton, Colorado in 1989, its premise is that local entrepreneurs create the companies that bring new wealth and economic growth to a region in the form of jobs, tax revenues, per capita income and a vibrant local business sector. Littleton's approach has <a href=" target="_blank">What differentiates economic gardening from other entrepreneurship development strategies is its focus on providing market research and high-level technical assistance to smaller, growth-oriented companies. The focus is on providing accurate, timely and relevant information to local entrepreneurs about key areas such as their competitors, customers, markets and industry trends. Armed with this kind of information, a small business owner can make better strategic decisions, avoid costly mistakes and successfully grow his or her enterprise. Market research is a discipline practiced by all Fortune 500 companies; economic gardening programs allow smaller companies to gain access to the same kind of tools and information and thus enjoy the same advantages as their larger counterparts.

"Economic Gardening is about applying just-in-time, high-end expertise rather than counseling," says Steve Quello, founder of CEO Nexus in Winter Park, FL, and an Economic Gardening expert. "Entrepreneurs know more about their companies than anyone else. Give them a better view of the big picture, and they can make adjustments themselves."

Economic gardening strategies help local small businesses discover how to reach markets outside the region. In turn, these exporting growth-oriented companies can spur the formation of local business suppliers and service firms to support them. More and better-paid workers also increase the demand for local goods and services, recirculating wealth throughout the local and regional economy. Economic gardening specialists help CEOs identify which issues are hindering their growth and then leverage sophisticated tools to deliver insights and information that CEOs can apply immediately.

An effective economic gardening (EG) program needs to be built from the ground up--that is, from the local community level first. EG is a strategy that operates within a larger entrepreneurial development system that is unique to each community. It must be integrated into the formal and informal systems that are already in place within that community. Economic gardening programs currently operate in several locations around the country, and even in locations in Australia and Japan. U.S.-based economic gardening projects include statewide initiatives in Wyoming, Florida, Kansas, and Washington, as well as local and regional programs in Montana, Wisconsin, Portland (OR), and several other locations.