In this episode of the Econ Dev Show, Dane welcome Beth Zimmer, Program Manager with the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building Leadership Project. Beth takes us on a journey through her five-year endeavor to cultivate a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pennsylvania. From deep-diving into cultural assessments to executing awareness campaigns, her comprehensive approach sought to uplift the state's entrepreneurial spirit.
Beth delves into the intricate components that make up an entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as mentorship programs, networking events, and targeted funding initiatives. She underscores the importance of these elements in supporting both nascent and established entrepreneurs.
However, it's not all smooth sailing; Beth shares candid insights into how shifting political landscapes led to an abrupt halt to the program, offering lessons on the fragility of such initiatives in the face of political headwinds.
The episode wraps up with a thoughtful discussion on the imperative for economic developers to champion inclusive entrepreneurship. According to Beth, this is as crucial as traditional business retention efforts and requires conscientious planning and action.
Tune in for a comprehensive look at the highs and lows of ecosystem building, and walk away with actionable insights on how to foster entrepreneurial spirit in your community.
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