Entrepreneurship and Small Business Delivery Services Action Plan: Strategies & Recommendations for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance
The Economic Development Administration (EDA), a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, retained the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to provide technical assistance in economic development to disaster-impacted communities in Texas and Louisiana. The Southwest Louisiana Alliance Foundation (the Alliance), which includes Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis Parishes, is working to transform Southwest Louisiana’s economic culture from a traditionally industrial-based economy to one with a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship. The creation of the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center is central to Southwest Louisiana’s desire to “stimulate small business formation, job creation, and economic diversification.”
This report builds on the observations and preliminary recommendations from a site visit to Lake Charles, LA to offer more complete analysis of the region’s observed entrepreneurship strengths and challenges and a more comprehensive set of recommendations for the Commercialization Center and the Beaumont region.
Several case studies included in the report provide tangible examples and lessons on how similar communities have improved their entrepreneurship ecosystems. These include the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, the North Dakota State University Technology Incubator, the Business Incubation Center (in Grand Junction, Colorado), the Louisiana Business and Technology Center, and the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (in western North Carolina).
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