UM-Dearborn’s iLabs eCities research recognizes 45 Michigan communities developing a positive entrepreneurial climate

November 14, 2011

DETROIT, November 14, 2011 – Auburn Hills, Frankenmuth, Grand Rapids, Novi, Port Huron, Rochester Hills and Wixom have been identified as the top performing communities at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in an annual study by researchers at the iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research.“These seven top performing communities demonstrate that they understand what small businesses need to be successful by communicating with them and providing connections to broader resources and insight on trends,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs.

“Businesses are the engines of growth and development in today’s economy with government establishing the rules and environment to make this happen. A collaborative and constructive dialogue between business and government is the only way we can balance the needs of businesses and society at large to provide for a peaceful and harmonious coexistence,” said Pavan V. Muzumdar, managing director, Pieris Capital, LLC and one of the entrepreneurial reviewers for the study.

In addition, 37 other communities across the State that performed well in eCities 2011 have been identified as five and four star communities.

Five-Star Communities
* denotes top performer

Charter Township of Meridian
City of Ann Arbor
City of Auburn Hills *
City of Dearborn
City of Farmington
City of Grand Haven
City of Kalamazoo

City of Kentwood
City of Litchfield
City of Marshall
City of Midland
City of Rochester Hills *
City of Southfield
City of Sterling Heights
City of Sturgis

City of Tecumseh
City of Troy
City of Wixom *
Scio Township
Village of Jonesville
Village of Quincy

Four-Star Communities
* denotes top performer

Alpine Township
Cascade Charter Township
Charter Township of Comstock
Charter Township of Northville
Charter Township of Waterford

City of Alpena
City of Coldwater
City of East Lansing
City of Frankenmuth *
City of Grandville
City of Grand Rapids *
City of Holland
City of Madison Heights
City of Marquette
City of Northville

City of Novi *
City of Plymouth
City of Portage
City of Romulus
City of Sault Ste. Marie
Superior Charter Township
Thomas Township
Village of Oxford

The eCities research surveyed more than 100 communities in the State of Michigan who are home to 36% of Michigan residents and 44% of its college graduates. These communities also had more than $1 billion in commercial construction last year and more than half of them share services with other communities.

“We are pleased to have participation from so many communities throughout the state in eCities 2011,” said Davis. “The focus of this project is assisting local communities by identifying best practices and methods that they can implement which will aid with job growth strategies, economic diversification, and development of entrepreneurs.”

The communities will be honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with Martin Dober, senior vice president of entrepreneurship & innovation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, providing the keynote address at the event.

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 32-item index of entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation. To date, 138 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.

About University of Michigan-Dearborn

Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university serving southeastern Michigan, committed to excellence rooted in strong academics, innovative research and programming and civic engagement. The University has nearly 8,900 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor's, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business and education. A top-ranked university with a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of partnering with local leaders and communities, and is committed to finding solutions for the challenges that face the region.

Beth Marmarelli