Today marks the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an annual initiative that shines a light not only on the value entrepreneurs bring to our communities and global economy, but also the importance of building infrastructures that make it easier for them to start and scale their businesses. SourceLink℠ partners with over 60 different communities across the country to do just that, and we are thrilled to announce that our network has grown this week to Orlando, Florida. Please join us in welcoming BizLink Orange!
Entrepreneurs new “home” in Central Florida
Central Florida attracts millions of tourists annually, but it is also a top destination for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In recent years, the region has emerged as a thriving innovation hub, home to a host entrepreneurial activity with Orlando consistently ranking as one of the best cities to start a business. To support and accelerate this momentum, the National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) and Orange County Government have partnered with SourceLink, tapping into our consulting services, software solutions and national network to strengthen and build upon the rich tradition of collaboration the NEC and Orlando entrepreneurial ecosystem have forged.
Building on top of a strong foundation of collaboration and community
Since 2003, The National Entrepreneur Center has been collaborating with area resource partners to champion entrepreneurs and small business owners. The goal in partnering with SourceLink was to connect the existing resources and make them visible in one, easily accessible online platform while also improving tracking and measurement capabilities to gain a better understanding of regional needs and gaps in support. It plans to build on the rich tradition the NEC has set with their in-person offerings and expand it online and into the surrounding community.
Developing a vibrant and rich online and in-person network
Enter, BizLink Orange, a free tool that provides quick and easy access to over 40 entrepreneur support organizations serving the six county region of Central Florida. This collaborative platform features a searchable resource database, comprehensive startup guides, robust events calendar, and interactive blog with hotline that will connect startups to a BizLink Orange Navigator who will expertly guide startups to the right area resource based on their location, industry, stage of business and more. Entrepreneurs can also request a personalized action plan tailored to their specific needs and desired business goals.
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship support, “We are excited to launch this a new platform to help small businesses grow and prosper in this new economy. Through this system, we hope to better provide virtual access to our region’s amazing resources, so aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses can connect from anytime and anywhere.”
Using data to strengthen support
Tracking, measuring and reporting are key components for growing and sustaining an entrepreneurial support network. Using SourceLink’s comprehensive CRM system built specifically for entrepreneurship-led economic development, BizLink Orange leaders will be able to track network activity and engagement – looking at metrics like service delivery, connectivity, financing, talent and growth to help them make fact-based program decisions. Data analyses and surveys will reveal gaps and opportunities in the network, ultimately resulting in better, more tailored and impactful support for area entrepreneurs and small business owners residing in Orange County.
This regional, data-driven approach to small business development will provide efficiency, and leverage for the non-profit agencies, while enabling entrepreneurs to quickly locate needed resources in a single visit.
To learn more about BizLink Orange, check out their website and watch the live launch ceremony on YouTube. You can connect with the team directly via email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-800-747-2030. Be sure to give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and sign up for their newsletter!
This initiative would not be possible without the support of Orange County Government and the National Entrepreneur Center.
Connecting entrepreneurial ecosystem builders nationwide
SourceLink is here to help you connect to resources and to build an effective and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more, and sign up for our newsletter to receive entrepreneurship ecosystem building know-how, actionable advice and R&D for your entrepreneurial community.