College of Business study aims to help communities benchmark their efforts to "attract, cultivate, build and hold entrepreneurial firms"

October 19, 2009

DEARBORN / Oct. 19, 2009---Marquette, Midland, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Wixom were identified as communities that are “2009 top performers at attracting and retaining entrepreneurial firms” in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business.    

Additionally, the Village of Dundee and the cities of Auburn Hills, Southfield and Troy--communities who were also recognized in the 2008 study--will be honored for their continuing efforts at supporting entrepreneurship.   

The communities will be honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn on Oct. 20.  Richard Blouse, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, will provide a keynote address at the event.    

The study, conducted by iLabs, UM–Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, 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.    

This third annual study found that the municipalities leverage their existing assets to provide opportunities for small business growth and entrepreneurial development.  “The communities we are recognizing this year have identified existing strengths to use as a starting point to help new and growing businesses,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs.   

UM-Dearborn researchers utilize an online interface that allows communities to enter public data and receive instant feedback on their performance.  This year 52 communities across Michigan took part in the study, up from 36 in 2008.   

The study used the data supplied by the communities as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 31-item index to measure entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education.      

In the future it is expected that eCities’ research will continue to add communities from across Michigan. “The focus of this project is assisting local communities.  It provides a method for cities, townships and villages to benchmark their efforts and have access to best practices to attract entrepreneurial development and create business growth,” Davis said.  “Sharing the findings will have a positive impact on Michigan’s economy, providing municipalities with the tools and knowledge they need to aid with job growth strategies, economic diversification, and attraction of entrepreneurs.”



About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


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