Observation: Places with healthy business development ecosystems have thriving economies. In Wisconsin, we don’t have to go far to find communities with thriving business development ecosystems: Madison’s economy is thriving because of its university, its venture capital resources and its support for entrepreneurship. Madison-based medical records tech company¬†Epic Systems¬†was founded in Madison and has grown to be a company that employees over 10,000 people.

Also, there are struggling economies in Wisconsin that have limited business development, a lack of access to capital and an unresponsive business ecosystem to support entrepreneurship and business development. Milwaukee’s Central City is a struggling economy with poor business outcomes; many businesses face a lack of access to capital, expertise and networks that are so prevalent in functioning business ecosystems. Develop Wisconsin works to build local business development ecosystems to expand the capacity of entrepreneurs to grow businesses that thrive in the global economy; so that success stories like Epic Systems are occurring in every community, every day.

Following are several ways in which Develop Wisconsin grows local ecosystems and, in the process, levels the playing field:

  • Connecting Businesses to Capital: Business can’t grow without access to capital over the lifecycle of a business. Yet, many businesses lack the capacity to secure the capital they need to grow. There are many reasons for a failure to access capital – credit, character, collateral, and capacity. We find the greatest hurdle is having the capacity to secure capital. In other words, a business needs to know what lenders or investors are looking for and package their deal in a manner that gets results. Develop America expands the capacity of businesses to access capital by providing much needed technical assistance and connecting businesses to lenders that are more likely to provide capital.
  • Connecting Businesses to Expertise: Growing businesses often need advice, guidance, and business expertise throughout the business lifecycle. Business owners seldom not enough about business, markets and competitive pressures to make optimal decisions every time. Getting good business advice expands the capacity of a business to respond to new opportunities, expand into new markets and generate new sources of revenue. Develop Wisconsin is a leading source of business expertise. We connect businesses to Business Advisors with the knowledge to take their business to the next level.
  • Connecting Businesses to Networks: At the core of functioning ecosystems are networks of businesses, organizations and government agencies that are conceivably working together to grow the local economy. Savvy, experienced business owners are usually connected to these networks – making these networks work for them. For several reasons – lack of information, frustration, too busy running the business – many entrepreneurs are not connected to networks that can help their business expand. Develop Wisconsin works to expand the capacity of businesses to identify networks they can use and then leverage those networks to expand the capacity of their businesses to compete.
  • Connecting Businesses to Markets: Penetrating markets is always a challenge for growing businesses. Markets are often highly dynamic clusters of change; where customer taste and preferences, technology and product trends are constantly changing. Develop Wisconsin works to expand the capacity of businesses to adjust more quickly to change and, as a consequence, better compete in markets. Our networks of local economic development partners, business networks and business advisors provide the market knowledge and know how to place your business firmly where there is market opportunity.
Share This