Paul Bateson, Missouri Small Business Technology and Development Centers (MO SBTDC) business counselor and Business Growth Services (BGS) team leader at the University of Missouri in Columbia, has been certified as an economic gardening team leader by the Edward Lowe Foundation’s National Center for Economic Gardening.
Danny Lobina, director of the Moberly Area Community College SBTDC, Collin Bunch, business development specialist with the University of Central Missouri SBTDC, Warrensburg, and Steve Holt, Director, Northwest Missouri State University SBTDC, Chillicothe, have also been certified as economic gardening specialists by the foundation.
MO SBTDC’s BGS initiative has simultaneously been certified as a Level III program.
The Edward Lowe Foundation is a pioneer in economic gardening. Founded in 1987 in Littleton, Colorado, the foundation believes economic gardening is an alternative to traditional economic development practices which emphasize the relocation of large firms. Since 1989, Littleton has added 15,000 jobs with zero incentives. Economic gardening embraces the fundamental idea that supporting established, or second-stage companies, most benefits a community’s revenue and job base.
BGS offers Missouri businesses positioned to grow the information they need to expand markets, increase revenue and grow strategically by providing sophisticated Fortune 500-level research. This is the kind of research most companies would never be able to conduct by themselves due to the prohibitive cost of databases and other research resources.
The BGS team provides individualized research in three major areas: geographic information systems; social media marketing and website optimization;
To be certified as a level III organization, an organization must prove unswerving focus to growing established, or stage II companies; have at least three staffers certified in economic gardening by the foundation, with qualified support staff; have demonstrated mastery of stage II companies’ core business issues; have proficiency in GIS, SEO, and other business tools; have adequate technology infrastructure to support its activities; have strong relationships with local economic development organizations, financial institutions and such local entrepreneurial supporters as accountants, attorneys and Web designers; and have strong engagement with stage II companies in forums, summits and CEO roundtables.
All certified individuals must also have a track record of positive contact with minimum of 25 companies.
To be awarded certification, the MO SBTDC business staff participated in a rigorous yearlong program that included six weeks of online learning on theories and tools of economic gardening, 15 separate tests, in-depth training on how to conduct interviews with CEOs and how to lead an economic gardening strategic research team. They were then evaluated on all components of training. Bateson was also required to conduct 25 live calls during an internship period before full certification.
The MO SBDTC helps transform Missouri businesses from concept through start up, growth and expansion. MO SBTDC business development counselors are located statewide providing education and individualized assistance on a variety of business management issues. From 2010-2012, the MO SBTDC and its affiliated programs helped Missouri companies generate $2.5 billion in economic impact, including increased sales of $986 million, government contracts of $857, investments of $649 million and nearly 33,000 new and retained jobs.
To learn how Bateson and the BGS team can help a company grow, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-882-1353.
To learn more about the SBTDCs, go to http://www.missouribusiness.net