A Practitioner’s Approach to Entrepreneurship

We wrote a book! To be more specific, our founder Maria Meyers and fellow entrepreneurship-led economic development leader Kate Hodel published the field guide on building and supporting entrepreneurship called Beyond Collisions: How to Build Your Entrepreneurial Infrastructure. Hooray!

Over the last 15 years, Maria Meyers and the rest of us on the SourceLink team developed a system and methodology communities nationwide have followed to connect and build their entrepreneurial infrastructure.

So why did we write a book? Because entrepreneurship matters. According to The Review of Economics and Statistics, “new businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation.”

And because we believe in the power of entrepreneurship-led economic development to create jobs, solve problems, empower economic mobility and change lives.

We know it’s important to create and sustain a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem; however, the entire process of how to go about doing that becomes convoluted and confusing. Where do cities begin? What’s the first step? Measure first, then empower? Or is it identify then connect? Maria and Kate lay out the game plan and break down how to support entrepreneurship.

So what’s in the book?

Beyond Collisions covers everything from the basics of entrepreneurial infrastructure to actionable strategies to empower and retain entrepreneurs in local communities. Besides our own actionable steps and strategies, we share stories from the field, firsthand accounts of building networks, encouraging entrepreneurs and understanding outcomes.

At the very core of Beyond Collisions, we answer these key questions:

●     Why does entrepreneurship matter?

●     What is an entrepreneurial infrastructure?

●     Who are these entrepreneurs that need help?

Goals are easier to accomplish when there’s a clear action plan. We lay out four steps to building entrepreneurial infrastructure and how to support and encourage entrepreneurs. We identify resources that support entrepreneurs, connect them, empower the entrepreneurial network and measure results.

In Beyond Collisions, we share insights we’ve gained about marketing, funding and leadership. As a bonus, we share our list of startup/entrepreneurial ecosystem jargon vocabulary list we wished we had when we started in this field.

Want a sneak peek?

Download Chapter 6 Measure What Matters. This chapter covers how to create benchmarks, prioritize metrics and measure benchmarks. We delve beyond measuring the number of jobs created and focus on all aspects of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.