Building Entrepreneurial Community

The Basics - Resource Identification and Assessment

Communities all over the world are looking to build economies through entrepreneurship.  As more entrepreneurial resources emerge from a region’s academic, business, government and nonprofit organizations, it is extremely important to give entrepreneurs fast, easy access to a “clearinghouse” that can help them find the right resource for their challenge, industry and business stage.

Many communities have an abundance of business development resources, but often entrepreneurs can’t find them or they reach out to the wrong one and have a bad experience.  With the multitude of different kinds of businesses – whether they are technology, main street, second-stage or microenterprise – and a multitude of resources available to serve them, a central point for visibility and connection can help strengthen businesses and accelerate their growth.

From a basic listing to a centralized online hub, it is important to improve the visibility and value of the resources available to entrepreneurs, providing entrepreneurs and the community with:

  • Access to resources
  • Access to networks
  • Coordinated community engagement
  • Access to capital and capacity-building funding

Assessment. Over more than 10 years, SourceLink has developed robust methodologies that allow us to work with a community to quickly understand and assess regional assets available to the entrepreneur.  We believe that the best way to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem is to start with the basics of knowing what you have, then understanding and filling gaps. Continuous improvement comes from reassessing and filling the next gap.  Therefore our asset maps always result in gap identification and recommendations for next steps. 

Maria Meyers

"Not all entrepreneurs are alike and not all resources support all of them. They cluster around the type of entrepreneur they serve."

SourceLink Resource Identifcation and Assessment Tools

SourceLink Baseline Reports

SourceLink supported the cities of Albuquerque, NM, Winston-Salem, NC and Sacramento, CA in identifying, categorizing and assessing entrepreneurial assets, producing baseline reports that identified assets and gaps and recommended next steps.


In partnership with JPMorgan Chase, SourceLink developed the SourceFinder℠, a unique print representation of available, regional resources that serve local entrepreneurs. Through an innovative infographic design, aspiring and existing business owners can readily navigate the resource maze to find the one they need, along with key contact information to complete that valuable business connection. 

Columbus, OH; Phoenix, AZ; Tampa Bay, FL; Seattle, WADenver, CO and Dallas / Fort Worth, TX all introduced SourceFinder during Startup Week in their community.

SourceFinder℠ makes the perfect hands-on companion piece when coupled with the Resource Navigator® online search system.  If your community needs to visualize hundreds of resources, we recommend reviewing our Resource Rail.

850-Phoenix SourceFinder

The Resource Navigator®

The Resource Navigator is an entrepreneur-friendly, online database that organizes your community’s resource partner programs. Entrepreneurs go online, answer just a few questions about their business stage and need, and find a local nonprofit with the specific resources they need.

The Commons on Champa, a new public-private-nonprofit partnership in Denver, launched The Resource Navigator to help entrepreneurs find on-the-ground resources to start and growth their businesses.

The Resource Navigator helps power ecosystems of any size. Loudoun County, VA is a small and rural area with the Resource Navigator. Regional metros include BaltimoreKansas City and Dallas. The Resource Navigator is statewide in reach for IowaKansasMississippiMissouri, and Virginia.

Watch a demonstration video.


Resource Rail℠

What happens when you want to visualize an ecosystem with many, many resources, all serving different types of entrepreneurs?  The Resource Rail℠ graphic map puts the information all in one place, in one image.

KCSourceLink's 240+ member SourceLink system solved the problem with the Resource Rail.
In honor of a new metro trolley system, KCSourceLink used its Resource Navigator information to create the Resource Rail, an advanced infographic designed to organize and highlight hundreds of resources in a community that help entrepreneurs and small business owners.


KCSourceLink Resource Rail