Entrepreneurial Communities Update
May 25, 2016  
If you had a million dollars...
At the Growing Entrepreneurial Communities summit in Kansas City May 4-5, I challenged attendees to a dream exercise. As some of you know, I often do this with the communities I coach and find that it helps focus thoughts and goals. Here, I posed a question to the audience before they broke into deep dive peer discussions about e-ecosystems.

What is an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem? Panel left to right: Jill Nichols, Rice County Kansas; Tammie Sweet, Grow Florida and Don Macke

DREAM EXERCISE. If you had $1M a year forever to invest in your community's entrepreneurial ecosystem, how would you invest it?
Read what some bright minds in entrepreneurial economic development had to say on Twitter #GrowingEShip:

Jeff Reynolds @ThinkJeffThink Micro-grants (<$15k) to encourage people to build something - anything! Not just about the initial grant, but mindset shifts that will echo through the community.

Larned Area Chamber @LarnedChamber   Invest in our youth entrepreneurship development #howiwouldspend1million 
Simone Marie @justsimonee With $1 million, Joanna would convene key players in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and a loan fund.
TimPutnam @putnamtim If I had a $1M I'd become majority owner of our traditional and local EDC's.

Pola Firestone @polafirestone Table 15 at #GrowingEShip Summit. $1m per year investment dream? To change culture and invest!

Table 15

paul wright @paul_pwright  My $1M allocation 25% Social Venture Lending Fund(s) 25% Youth/education, 35% Coordinator/operations, 15% endowment

Kimberlee Spillers @BeWUCA  With $1M per year, create RLF, improve #civil inclusive #dialogue that engages #citizens in #community decisions

Girard Area Chamber @GirardChamber  Start w/ putting $ into the heart of our community, our downtown....and also fund an eship program in our local school.
Michael C. @MikeyMikeFly   If I had $1 million for entrepreneurship, I'd spend it with community dev. and neighborhood preservation in mind. #EconDev

Vernon Hurd @VernonHurd   Dreams... Establish a forgivable loan program for entrepreneurs that create permanent jobs, forgiving principal for each job. 
Michelle Decker @RuralActionExec   If I Had a mil: invest $400k for e communities; $300k for TA partners; $300k for special $ products & tech
Greg T Jones @AskGregT   Create a revolving loan fund and a coalition to support an entrepreneurial community center.  
Norris Krueger @entrep_thinking   I'd spend the million $ on putting the very best deep experiential entrep ed throughout P-PhD and out in community. Everywhere!
Connie Hancock @UNLExtConnie   Dream with $1 mil - investing in human capital to focus on empowering entrepreneurs! 
John M. Fulwider @johnmfulwider   Support diverse accelerators.  #howidspendamillion  
Nancy Straw @strawnancy I would support entrepreneurial education from primary school thru college and community

Don Macke
If I had a million dollars to grow Lincoln, Nebraska's (my home) entrepreneurial ecosystems I would (1) commission an entrepreneurial talent mapping study to better understand our potential, (2) staff a team to bring all the players, resources and entrepreneurs together to create a more robust system of support, and (3) bring US SourceLink to Lincoln to help organize and manage our system.   

You can find my presentation along with notes, photos and other presentations from the summit by visiting our website
HERE . Watch your email for thought papers and other content we are working on based on our observations and interactions in Kansas City.

And don't forget to answer the dream question yourself! How would YOU invest a million dol
l ars a year forever in your community's entrepreneurial ecosystem?

Don Macke
Co-Founder and Director of Entrepreneurial Communities
Center for Rural Entrepreneurship | (402) 323-7336 | info@e2mail.org