Economic Gardening certification

The majority of Economic Gardening programs utilize the National Strategic Research Team* (NSRT) for their company engagements. However, it is possible to develop your own team of specialists to serve only your clients. Regardless of which route you choose, all team leaders and specialists providing Economic Gardening services must be certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG) to ensure the highest quality research and services.

The certification process provides all participants with critical knowledge of the Economic Gardening frameworks, as well as the process followed in company engagements. Certification includes six weeks of online learning and a four-day learning retreat at the Edward Lowe Foundation. After the  retreat, team leader and research specialist trainees will be mentored by an NSRT member and receive hands-on experience working with companies currently enrolled in an engagement.

Team Leader trainees should have experience working with entrepreneurs and possess the temperament to facilitate — rather than advise or consult — while working in a rapidly changing environment. Research specialists must be experts in their field and have access to pertinent databases.

General information on each Economic Gardening discipline follows and includes a PDF with more details. All costs include retreat lodging and meals at the Edward Lowe Foundation’s retreat facility in Cassopolis, Michigan. Travel expenses are not included.

General track

The general track is designed for individuals who are seeking a deep understanding of the Economic Gardening principles and how they apply to growth companies. This track includes all aspects of certification except for post-retreat mentoring, and is an excellent path for the person who simply wants to know more or will be the local advocate for an Economic Gardening program.

Companion document

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General Track
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Companion document

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Team Leader
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Team leader track

The team leader track is specifically designed for the person who will be leading the company engagement with the research specialists. In addition to learning the Economic Gardening theories and frameworks, participants will receive in-depth training and mentoring on how to conduct the initial interview with CEOs and lead an Economic Gardening team.

GIS, SEO/new media and market research track

This track is designed to teach GIS, SEO/new media and market research professionals how to utilize their current expertise within our National  Strategic Research Team (NSRT) model. Participants will learn Economic Gardening theories and tools and receive in-depth training on how to participate in CEO interviews, as well as understanding what types of research and reports are expected in engagements.

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GIS, SEO/New Media and Market Research
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Important dates

Activity Date
Application/Registration January 10 – February 13, 2017
Payment deadline February 13, 2017
Online learning portion February 13 – March 31, 2017
Retreat portion at BRV in Cassopolis, MI April 11 – 14, 2017

To apply or request additional information, contact  Rita Phillips.

Becoming a member of the Nation Strategic Research Team

From time to time, the National Center for Economic Gardening may need to add a team leader or research specialist to the NSRT. All NSRT research specialists must have access to major databases and tools.  If you are interested in becoming EG certified with the sole intention of serving on the NSRT, please note that certification does not guarantee a spot on the team.  Before you register for training, please contact Colleen Killen-Roberts, Director of Entrepreneurship of the National Strategic Research Team to find out the current needs of the NSRT.

Introductory course

thoughtful-growth-smWant to dive deeper into the principles and tools of Economic Gardening? This online course will get you started — and is required for organizations that want to contract with us to launch a program.

Learn more

Pilot programs

Hand-treeThe best way to decide if Economic Gardening is right for your city, region or state is to launch a pilot program.

Learn more

Companion documents

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Economic Gardening Overview
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EG Outcomes
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CEOs: Getting Started
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CEOs: Understanding EG
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ESOs: Understanding EG
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Case studies

What people are saying ...

“I’ve never experienced better professional development. What’s more, the training has been beneficial beyond Economic Gardening engagements. I apply many of the principles, such as core strategy and temperament, when working with other clients.”

— Alan Christensen, an NSRT team leader and regional SBDC director in Ephraim, Utah

Michigan Companies to Watch