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Entrepreneurship Development Systems


A regional Entrepreneurship Development System (EDS) approach has the potential to provide long term ROI to municipalities by integrating regional collaboration with a systems approach to entrepreneurship as a foundational economic development strategy.

The core premise of an EDS is to ensure a set of entrepreneurship services (many of which may already exist in a region), are brought together to fulfill a set of objectives, and in doing so, operate by a set of common principles.

The concept and piloting of the EDS approach took place within a number of rural regions in the United States and emerged from the work of leading practitioners in economic development. These thought leaders included: the Rural Policy Research Institute; Professor Tom Lyons of Baruch College; Gregg Lichtenstein of Collaborative Strategies, and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). 

SEDA is very pleased to be working with the Mid Sask Municipal Alliance (MSMA) to champion this initiative,

"An effective entrepreneurship development system integrates a wide range of programs and tailors products and services to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs. It should be comprehensive, flexible, culturally sensitive, and integrated, and should require service providers to collaborate rather than operate independently or in isolation".(Brian Dabson, “Fostering Entrepreneurship Development Systems in Rural America)

Each regional EDS will be uniquely shaped by a set of givens. These include the economic and social conditions in the region that typically reflect challenges as well as opportunity. The givens also include the institutional capacities that already exist to support entrepreneurial development, and the history, or lack of history, of a broad array of regional stakeholders working together. The nine basic action areas which frame the system are illustrated in the following infographic. Click on it to enlarge.