Edward Lowe Foundation is a Michigan foundation that develops educational programs for entrepreneurs including Economic Gardening. Economic Gardening is a bit of a buzz word in Michigan these days. It’s an effort to help second-stage businesses with success. Springfield Commercial Roofing is considered a second stage business. Past the start-up stage, a second stage business faces many challenges including recruiting and training individuals for management positions. Many times in a second stage business, the owner or company CEO realizes he or she has to “let go” of some of the responsibilities and form departments with managers who help run the company. Terry Umlor, CEO of Springfield Inc. has participated in retreats and CEO round tables at the Edward Lowe Foundation in Cassopolis, Michigan. Managers at Springfield have also attended leadership retreats.
The reason for the emphasis on helping small, second stage business growth: they produced more jobs in the 15 year period between 1993 and 2007 than any other business segment in the state (per Edward Lowe Foundation statistics). Here is another interesting statistic from Edward Lowe Foundation: in the 15 year period between 1993 and 2007 small second state companies (those that employ between 10 and 100 workers) added 137,249 jobs in Michigan while large companies (those that employ 500 or more workers) shed 257,585 jobs in the same time period.
I urge everyone reading this blog to go change the way you look at your neighborhood small business owners and support them whenever possible. Thank you!
Click on the link for more detailed information on Economic Gardening. http://www.edwardlowe.org/secondStage/economicGardening.elf
Sources for this article: Rich Haglund, Michigan Business Journal