UM-Dearborn’s iLabs eCities research recognizes 55 Michigan communities developing a positive entrepreneurial climate

October 25, 2010

East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Jonesville, Livonia, Meridian Township, Tecumseh and Wixom have been identified as the top-performing communities at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research (iLabs).

In addition to performing well in the numerical portions of eCities 2010, the seven top-performing communities are recognized for innovative collaborations and programs that aid entrepreneurial growth. These 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.

In addition, 48 other communities across the state that performed well in eCities 2010 have been identified as five- and four-star communities. (See lists below.)

The eCities research surveyed more than 100 communities in the state of Michigan who are home to 128,242 entrepreneurs who earned $3.4 billion in annual income. These communities also had $1.2 billion in commercial development last year and account for nearly half the state’s commercial property.

“We are pleased to have participation from so many communities throughout the state in eCities 2010,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs. “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 Tuesday, Oct. 19 with Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, 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, 30-item index to encourage 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.

The 48 communities across the state that performed well and have been identified as five and four star communities in eCities 2010 include:

Five-Star Communities
City of Ann Arbor
City of Auburn Hills
City of Chelsea
City of Coldwater
City of East Lansing
City of Farmington Hills
City of Frankenmuth
Village of Jonesville
City of Litchfield
City of Marquette
City of Marshall
Meridian Township
City of Midland
City of Northville
Northville Township
City of Novi
Village of Oxford
Pittsfield Township
City of Rochester
City of Rochester Hills
City of Royal Oak
Scio Township
City of Southfield
City of Sterling Heights
City of Tecumseh
City of Troy
City of Wixom
Ypsilanti Township

Four-Star Communities
Ada Township
Alpine Township
Cascade Township
City of Dearborn
City of Farmington
Flint Township
City of Grand Rapids
City of Hillsdale
Holland Township
City of Howell
Independence Township
City of Lansing
City of Livonia
City of Madison Heights
Milford Township
City of Monroe
Plymouth Township
City of Romulus
City of Saline
City of Sturgis
Superior Township
City of Taylor
Thomas Township
Traverse City
City of Westland
Waterford Township
West Bloomfield Township

Photographs by Rachel Shomsky.