Centered on second-stage businesses — those that have advanced beyond the startup phase with the intent to grow even larger — Economic Gardening has powerful and far-reaching payoffs.

With typically 10-99 employees and revenue from $1M to $50M, second-stage companies are not only significant job creators, but often have national or global markets, which means they bring outside dollars into the community. Between 1995 and 2012, second-stage companies represented only 11.6 percent of U.S. establishments, but generated nearly 34.5 percent of jobs and about 34.5 percent of sales, according to YourEconomy.org.

Supporting these growth entrepreneurs means positive payoffs when it comes to economic growth and prosperity. Economic Gardening also provides a key balance between company attraction and small business support, and growing from within and supporting existing second-stage businesses.

There are key benefits for the Entrepreneur Support Organization that develops an Economic Gardening program, including becoming a trusted source for growth companies, developing partnerships with key stakeholders, and the opportunity to develop a host of follow-on programs, as well as the chance to refer Economic Gardening clients into other existing programs.

Bottom line: Economic Gardening helps establish a strong entrepreneurial culture that is critical to company, industry, and regional and statewide growth.

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