As always, and through it all in 2020, our SourceLink network put owners and entrepreneurs first. To this end, I’d like to highlight all of the amazing things we were able to accomplish together last year.
If you would like to learn more about any of these initiatives, please drop me an e-mail and it would be my pleasure to e-introduce you to our local project lead.
COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Support
The bulk of our staff time was spent in 2020 supporting all of you. We guided many affiliates with creating COVID-19 information pages, helped programs built pathways to streamline data entry so they could meet with more owner clients, and even produced a series of webinars to share best practices and advice about how you were approaching resiliency and recovery efforts. We also held a number of Quarterly Conversations. Our favorite conversation this year was on Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building: Moving into Action.
Des Moines Jobs Report | Central Iowa
The Greater Des Moines Partnership updated their startup and entrepreneurship impact data to understand and act on emerging trends happening within the central Iowa business community.
Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development Certification
Fluency Score Pilot Program with InBIA
Select startup accelerators across the country piloted The Fluency Score, a tool for evaluating companies applying to their programs, thanks to a partnership with InBIA (the International Business Innovation Association), Fluent, a Denver-based fintech startup, and SourceLink®, a non-profit entrepreneurial ecosystem resource provider.
IASourceLink | State of Iowa
Inland SoCal SourceLink | Inland Southern California
Launch Network | North Louisiana
As part of its continuing effort to grow Louisiana companies of all kinds, EAP LA worked with SourceLink to create Launch Network, a place to celebrate and better connect entrepreneurs to available resources in a meaningful way to move firms forward.
Missouri Broadband Resource Rail | State of Missouri
New Bedford SourceLink | New Bedford, MA
New Bedford SourceLink is a supportive platform that connects maritime, arts+culture, and main street entrepreneurs to a network of local, regional, and national resource partners to foster innovation, growth, and prosperity.
Nexus i90 | Finger Lakes Region of the State of New York
NWI BizHub | Northwest Illinois
A powerful coalition of three foundations, the local SBDC and a workforce development agency came together to create NWI BizHub. This team took inspiration from one of their SourceLink peers, ChiBizHub, with their branding and website design.
Philadelphia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project
The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, and PIDC Philadelphia launched an ambitious effort to better understand the unique needs of small businesses owned by people of color, women and immigrants in the city of Philadelphia. This project is a collective effort driven by Next Street, Urbane, ESI, and SourceLink. A new coalition (and related initiatives) will be coming in 2021 based on the research and findings completed this last year.
Sandhills Entrepreneurship Engagement Network | Sandhills Region of North Carolina
Sparkyard | Fort Worth, TX
Start In Wisconsin | State of Wisconsin
Start In Wisconsin is a national first for creating a comprehensive statewide infrastructure that is managed and owned locally by regional leads (often local community organizers, ecosystem builders, and economic development agencies). The network has impressive strength at scale, while the power to meet entrepreneurs where they are – all the way down to the main streets where they reside. The network showcases the best that can happen when a state economic development agency allows for trust and partnership with a state university + local ecosystem builders.
Starting Block Chattanooga | Chattanooga, TN
The GRID | Northern Wisconsin
One of the networks we are most proud of from a design perspective comes from the team at The GRID. Not only were they able to launch a beautiful new website, they also trained and equipped outreach liaisons to go meet with local resource partners and recruit them to join the initiative. This will soon culminate in a private resource directory that will be used to leverage hidden (and often uncommon) rural and community assets to champion community innovators, entrepreneurs, and more.
UMKC TalentLink | Kansas City, MO
Website WordPress Development – All Website Affiliates (soon!)
SourceLink was able to cross a major milestone this last year launching 13 websites on our new WordPress website framework. Migration plans will be coming soon for all of our current affiliates. This migration will give everyone improved online visibility, much easier website changes, and most importantly, the ability to add many new features and functionality.
SourceLink Staff Recognition
This year we welcomed Kyla Manning to our staff. Kyla serves as a national business development consultant for SourceLink. In this role, she supports SourceLink with expanding its national footprint by focusing on expanding SourceLink software and consultancy solutions. She brings personal passion for small business success along with considerable enterprise technology business development expertise from her previous roles at Sprint and Google Fiber.
Additionally, Dara Macan and Sarah Mote both won prestigious Stevie Awards for their outstanding work supporting our network and team.
I’m supremely proud of the work our team and affiliates have been able to accomplish in 2020. Please stay safe as we enter 2021, and know I hold each of you closely in my own heart. On behalf of our entire SourceLink team, and all the many entrepreneurs that you have helped navigate this last year, may you have a wonderful new year and I look forward to hearing how you will continue to inspire us.