MEDC Announces New ‘Economic Gardening’ Pilot Program
A new program announced by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation yesterday will connect 54 Michigan small businesses with a team of national experts, who will provide each company with 35 hours of guidance in the areas of strategy and management; market research and competitive intelligence; Internet and social media strategy; and help with identifying potential customers in other states. The Pure Michigan Business Connect Economic Gardening Pilot Program will be administered by the Edward Lowe Foundation in Cassopolis, MI.
Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation, said the companies and the strategic research teams will meet by phone, where a call leader will serve as a kind of translator as the experts ask the entrepreneurs questions meant to “peel away layers of the onion.”
“It gives companies access to information like market research and GIS data that, in the normal course of events, would be very challenging to get on their own,” Lewandowski says.
The 54 companies, which were nominated by local economic development officials, were chosen based on the type and size of markets they serve, their growth potential, and the likelihood that they would benefit from the service.
Southeast Michigan small businesses participating in the program include: