Economic Gardening

“Economic Gardening” is an internal approach to economic development. The belief that is core to this strategy is the belief that local entrepreneurs create the companies that bring new wealth, jobs, and growth to a community. Local governments that are proponents of this strategy focus their attention inwards, towards existing small businesses, rather than seeking out investment from businesses based in other places. Focusing on small businesses means providing them the tools and environment they need to grow. ICMA’s article “Seven Steps to Developing an Economic Gardening Implementation Strategy” lists many suggestions. One of the most important and cost effective of these is paring citizens that have the right set of skills with small businesses. For example, an experienced marketing professional may be able to volunteer to help a small business define its public presence. Deploying a community’s assets to assist small businesses as they grow is a valuable tactic in encouraging growth from within the existing economy.

Image: Stephen Ravenscraft Source:  Edward Lowe Foundation

Image: Stephen Ravenscraft
Source: Edward Lowe Foundation

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