Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community

The Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community program provides the resources, training, and tools to develop community capacity to better understand and support the local entrepreneurial economy. Targeted for community leaders and elected officials, the customized community curriculum is designed to help local leaders understand the contribution of entrepreneurs to their local economy and jobs. While gaining the information and tools to develop a plan of action to grow and sustain local business growth, the participants will also learn strategies to help local leaders position their community as an environment that nurtures and supports entrepreneurial success.

Program Introduction and Overview


The Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community program is designed to help local leaders

  1. Understand the important contribution of entrepreneurs and business enterprises to their local economy and employment
  2. Identify and plan strategies that can help to grow local entrepreneurs and businesses
  3. Position their community as an environment supportive of and conducive to entrepreneurial (and business) success
Program Delivery

The BEFC program can be delivered in one of the following ways:

  1. Directly to community leaders by the Ohio State University Extension team
  2. By a group of local leaders who plan to deliver the program to their community themselves
Learning Objectives

Learners will understand:

  • Contributions entrepreneurs are making to the local economy
  • The community’s “Entrepreneurship Wellness Profile”
  • Qualities and strategies that create an entrepreneur supportive community
  • What is working well and where the gaps exist in entrepreneur support
  • The importance of a strategic plan to further their entrepreneur-based economic goals
  • Gain an overview and understanding of their current local economic base.
Anticipated Outcomes
  • Awareness among local leaders and the community about what programs, strategies, and initiatives are needed for entrepreneurs to achieve success
  • Access to sectoral and demographic profiles of their community through an Entrepreneurship Wellness Profile, identifying potential gaps and opportunities for entrepreneurs
  • Knowledge of various programs and strategies that are most appropriate and will have the greatest impact on their community

  • Development of a strategic plan, beginning with a need’s assessment, to build the community as an entrepreneur-friendly environment.
Program Modules

The program consists of three modules with information important in understanding and creating an entrepreneur-friendly community. The modules will include a lesson plan; 2.5 to 3-hours of PowerPoint slide presentations with narration for each slide; additional information and resources; and handouts and templates for strategic planning and other relevant activities.  Each module will take approximately 6 hours to deliver.

To facilitate critical thinking, each module includes discussion encouraging participants to ponder and apply the information learned in the session. The group conversations direct the participants to begin to identify the most pressing needs in their community related to entrepreneur growth and sustainability. These are the beginning steps to create a strategic plan specific to creating an entrepreneur-friendly community, capable of inspiring, nurturing, and sustaining local entrepreneur growth and vitality.

Module 1: Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Understanding Entrepreneurs
  • Understand the characteristics of entrepreneurs
  • Identify what entrepreneurs need to grow and succeed
  • Raise awareness of the value and contribution of entrepreneur-based enterprises to the local economy
  • Review an “Entrepreneurship Wellness Profile” that analyzes our community for entrepreneurship “readiness”
  • Provide an overview and purpose of the Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community Program
  • Entrepreneur Panel: Hear directly from entrepreneurs in your community regarding what works, what does not work and how the entrepreneurial environment of our community can be improved
  • Strategic Consideration: What helps and hinders entrepreneur growth and sustainability in our community?
Module 2: Elements of a Successful Entrepreneurship Program
  • Gain an understanding of the necessary elements of an enabling culture for local entrepreneurship
  • Discuss strategies to identify, reach out to, and engage entrepreneurs
  • Understand and explore various roles that public officials can play in maintaining and enabling the local entrepreneur culture
  • Strategic Consideration: How can we support and sustain existing entrepreneurs? How can we grow our capacity to encourage new entrepreneurs in our community?
Module 3: Developing a Focused Entrepreneurship Strategic Plan
  • Build a plan of action to focus the community on an intentional plan to support and grow entrepreneurs
  • Identify current community strengths and opportunities enabling entrepreneurial growth
  • Reveal areas for improvement to better support and sustain entrepreneurs
  • Create realistic, accountable goals to positively move the community forward
  • Create opportunities for collaboration and effective allocation of resources

Example of BEFC Plan:
Building an Entrepreneur Friendly-Community
In Vinton County

For more information, please contact the following authors: Myra Moss; Nancy BowenGwynn Stewart; Kyle White

*Special recognition of Becky Nesbitt and Godwin Apaliyah as original authors on the project!

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