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South Dakota Rural Enterprise Opportunity Roundup - College-based economic gardening

“I am interested in starting a local Economic Gardening program through a local college. I remember in the past discussions about U of Hartford and Cal State San Bernardino having such programs. Can anyone give me info about these programs and others they know about?”

Gilman Mesa State College, Grand Junction, CO has a Business Decision Making class similar to the old SBI program but are interested in expanding it to encompass the more pure eco gardening concept.

The University of Wyoming supports a state-wide economic research center called the Wyoming Market Research Center. They provide access to a number of databases and do custom research requests for individual businesses throughout the state. Combined with partners from the Wyoming Business Council and the WSBDC who provide the face-to-face counseling component, every business in WY has access to economic gardening services.

The Connecticut Economic Gardening Group (CT-EGG) has been working closely with the University of Hartford Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development to offer business analysis services to small businesses. They have been conducting a number of projects involving local small businesses and entrepreneurs. Undergraduate classes work with local businesses in surrounding towns (mostly retail, but also B2B in service and manufacturing verticals). The students conduct business needs assessments for the businesses, assessing a variety of elements, e.g., signage, marketing, internal layout, competition and sales growth opportunities. The graduate students have been working with CT-based technology firms through a cooperative arrangement with the CT Technology Council. The students conduct either a detailed arket/opportunity assessment or an in-depth competitive analysis for the firms.

California State College, Chico. Dan Ripke operates the Center for Economic Development and uses students to do some of the research. He also supervises six SBDCs in northern California.



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