Tools & Programs

The foundation supports entrepreneurship by focusing on second-stage entrepreneurs and the belief that they are vital to the United States economy. The foundation also believes entrepreneurs have the best opportunity to succeed if they learn from their peers and that they need to be recognized for the role they play in their communities and industries. To that end, it develops and delivers educational programs and information that help second-stage entrepreneurs grow and thrive and produces statewide awards programs designed to help communities appreciate and support the growth of these entrepreneurs.

  • Economic Gardening

    Economic gardening takes an entrepreneurial approach to regional prosperity. Often referred to as a “grow from within” strategy, it helps existing companies within a community grow larger. In contrast to traditional business assistance, economic gardening focuses on strategic growth challenges, such as developing new markets, refining business models and gaining access to competitive intelligence. Economic gardening specialists help CEOs identify which issues are hindering their growth and then leverage sophisticated tools to deliver insights and information that CEOs can apply immediately.

    Get Smarter …


    Need data? Check out (YE). This online research tool tracks the performance of more than 44 million U.S. businesses (including 24 million active ones) across time, providing detailed information about job creation and establishment growth at the local, state and national levels. It’s data that’s easy to access — and easy to understand.

    YourEconomy sets itself apart by using innovative new metrics to sift through data. It’s like holding a magnifying glass over business communities to zero in on economic activity and reveal trends at a granular level. Grab your browser and find out what’s going on in your backyard.


    Get Smarter …

  • Companies to Watch

    Companies to Watch (CTW) is one of the foundation’s recognition programs. Running in select locations, CTW starts with every influential player in the business community — forward-thinking public agencies, dedicated private enterprises and their professionals, progressive not-for-profits and influential community leaders. They canvas the entire state for companies that are quietly creating jobs, developing innovation and contributing to their communities. The companies are put through a rigorous application and selection process, and voila. Cue your goosebumps.

    Get Smarter …

  • CEO Roundtables

    Recognized nationwide as an expert on peer learning, we understand the value of interacting with and learning from colleagues who often face similar leadership and business problems. That’s why we developed and license the PeerSpectives Roundtable System, an innovative peer-to-peer learning tool using a proven format that focuses on sharing experiences instead of giving advice.

    PeerSpectives Intro Video Still

    Get Smarter …

  • Retreats

    Combining its expertise in entrepreneurship and peer learning, the Edward Lowe Foundation hosts retreats for two key audiences: leaders of second-stage businesses and leaders of entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). Curriculum varies depending on a group’s specific needs, but typically addresses the unique challenges of second stage and enables participants to sharpen leadership skills, think differently and make faster, better decisions.

    Get Smarter …

"As a general rule, a professional brain surgeon does not pitch horse shoes as a hobby. "
— Edward Lowe