Creating small business clusters and solutions

 

Challenge:

A US city had a vision to be a great place to create and grow a small business. It had multiple small business support providers, but limited understanding of their effectiveness.

Moreover, many entrepreneurs and business owners were not aware of the support that was available, and/ or found it difficult to navigate.





Solution:

A new technology driven approach to connect, support and grow the small business community through clustering of innovation, data and services.

  • We worked with city agencies to understand entrepreneurs’, startups’ and small business owners’ needs and the city’s regulatory processes.

  • We identified and used open source code to design and build a small business support portal which brought everything together in one place

  • We encouraged city, state and small business providers, as well as a financial services company to share data and to combine marketing efforts to reach a larger, wider client base

  • We helped the city to build a CRM tool which aggregated providers‘ and government data, and helped providers to understand their clients’ needs, ensure the system was delivering the support needed, and track the effectiveness of the support

  • We also encouraged the private sector and a philanthropic foundation to contribute funding towards the cost of the CRM


Results:

  • Increased reach to small business community from 2.5% to +10% within 6 months

  • Increased Gross Value Added (GVA) by 16% within 6 months

4X

increase of reach to small businesses

+16%

increase in city GVA