SEDI has launched the Dollars4Dreams Micro-Lending micro loan program and is working to create Business Activity Centers to foster small and entrepreneurial businesses in northern Arizona. We believe this supports sustainable communities.
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says that supporting micro-enterprises is, “a successful strategy for addressing poverty, unemployment, and community deterioration.”
A case study done by the University of Northern Carolina in a small town looked into creating stronger community economic development. Along with other criteria towns employed strategies that included bringing in more entrepreneurship opportunities into the community. The case study came up with seven conclusions that defined successful economic development in the small towns of Northern Carolina.
- In small towns, community development is economic development.
- Small towns with the most dramatic outcomes tend to be proactive and future-oriented; they embrace change and assume risk.
- Successful community economic development strategies are guided by a broadly held local vision.
- Defining assets and opportunities broadly can yield innovative strategies that capitalize on a community’s competitive advantage.
- Innovative local governance, partnerships and organizations significantly enhance the capacity for community economic development.
- Effective communities identify, measure and celebrate short-term successes to sustain support for long-term community economic development.
- Viable community economic development involves the use of a comprehensive package of strategies and tools, rather than a piecemeal approach.
These seven conclusions have all been incorporated in the approach that SEDI is taking, especially in our efforts to create a Business Activity Center in the Sunnyside community. The sustainable ways to get a small town economy rolling are the ones that last for the long term and are able to be persistent without constant help. SEDI plans to be a part of a sustainable economic development in northern Arizona, and specifically in the Sunnyside neighborhood in Flagstaff. The plan is to create a Marketplace and Micro-Entrepreneurship Center and Business Assistance Center which will not just reverse current economic challenges, these are resources that will help Sunnyside for years to come, the community has the potential to benefit exceptionally.
What do you think about this case study’s conclusion to achieving success?