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Online Training Course: Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development Strategies

Date: September 17 - 18, 2020

Location: Online (This course is no longer being held in Baltimore, MD. See below for more details.)

Time: 10:30 am - 5:00 pm ET


As a follow-up to IEDC’s organizational statement made on March 9 on the evolving situation with the Coronavirus/COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of registrants and instructors IEDC has made the decision to shift our Entrepreneurial and Small Business Strategies Training course happening September 17-18, from an in-person course format into an online course format. Entrepreneurial and Small Business Strategies Training course originally scheduled to occur in Baltimore, MD, September 17-18, will no longer be held face-to-face. Instead, you can attend from the comfort and safety of your own home or office on the same dates (September 17-18). We apologize for the inconveniences you will experience as result of this change. We will email current registrants with more details and we hope that you are satisfied with our solution.

Course Dates - Dates of the online Entrepreneurial and Small Business Strategies Training course remains September 17-18, 2020. The live sessions will occur between 10:30 am – 5:00 pm ET each day (subject to change). This course will offer an interactive experience for both instructors and attendees that allows everyone to engage with one another similarly to how they would in a classroom setting. We will be using Zoom software. A revised agenda will be forthcoming, however, for your information, we will be sure to take breaks throughout the day (in between sessions and for lunch).

» Agenda
» Instructors
» Certification

This course is held in partnership with Maryland Economic Development Association.


This multi-faceted course explores the core aspects of entrepreneurial and small business development including value-add partnerships, technical assistance programs, financing, business incubation and more. Entrepreneurs and small businesses stimulate job creation, develop crucial innovations in both products and services and promote the diversification of the economic base. In this course, you will learn the financial and managerial tools economic developers use to create a climate that encourages entrepreneurial and small business development. Also, practitioners will examine the barriers they face and how communities can leverage their economic development resources to build highly integrated networks to help businesses thrive in the global economy.


Course Highlights:

• Identifying and addressing the needs of entrepreneurs
• Defining urban v. rural-focused entrepreneurial and small business strategies
• Managing technical assistance (e.g., economic gardening) programs
• Development and management of business incubators
• Understanding federal and state government resources (e.g., SBDCs)
• Financing programs including micro-lending, venture capital, and angel networks
• Creating a technical assistance tracking system to measure job growth and etc.



September 17


Course Overview and Introductions


Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Who are Entrepreneurs?
This course begins with a description and deeper analysis of entrepreneurial trends, survival rates, job creation, patents and etc. Specifically, this session will lay out the characteristics of entrepreneurs and small business owners, the barriers they face and how economic development organizations can promote entrepreneurial development by making their regions more fertile for entrepreneurs. Also, this session will review the different types of entrepreneurial businesses (e.g., survival, micro-enterprise, lifestyle, second-stage growth and etc.) to help practitioners better understand what resources are needed to assist an array of entrepreneurs.


Economic Gardening
This session will introduce attendees to economic gardening and how it fits into a comprehensive entrepreneurial development strategy. Having a deep understanding of your regional labor market is critical to making effective economic development policy decisions. In addition, this session will help practitioners understand ways to benchmark their economic development strategies using multiple data points.


Lunch on your own


The Role of Economic Development Organizations
This session will discuss the types of assistance (e.g., micro-lending, economic gardening, rural entrepreneurship, tech-based economic development, university connections/partnerships and etc.) typically available to entrepreneurs. In today's knowledge economy, the role entrepreneurs (e.g.: individuals that transform ideas into commercial and industrial uses) are key concerns to a community's business climate. Economic development organizations need to have an entrepreneurial and small business development strategy that augments the business climate of their respective community.


Interactive Case Study
This session will focus on targeting public and private resources to assist entrepreneurs and small business in different stages of growth and maturity. Practitioners need to treat entrepreneurs and small businesses differently depending on their level of growth and development. This session will help EDOs learn how to successfully diversify the business climate within their community and add to the overall distinctiveness of your economic base by targeting ED resources more effectively.


September 18


Rural Entrepreneurship
Encouraging entrepreneurship is a growing strategy in rural America and beyond. This session addresses how to provide rural entrepreneurs and small business owners with the necessary skills to help them establish networks of business service providers, manage a wide-variety of clients and employ the most recent innovations in technology to help grow their businesses.


SBA Financing and Small Business Lending
Capital is critical at every stage of business development - start-up, expansion and to remain competitive. After evaluating how much cash a small business owner has on hand, an economic developer can guide owners to capital that can be used to translate business ideas into products and services, and purchase fixed assets, such as buildings and equipment. This session will highlight financial programs that support small business development and will teach you how to help make small businesses more attractive to private investors and lenders. Topics included are SBA programs and other traditional funding programs.


Lunch on your own


Financing and Equity Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
There are other viable options for entrepreneurs to acquire small business development funding such as commercial banks, angel investors and SBTDC programs. This session will help practitioners better understand the diverse set of funding sources available. Also, this session will improve the practitioners understanding of what lenders and angel investors are typically looking for in a start-up venture.


Incubator Support
In order for businesses to be successful, they need to identify a location where it can operate, sell and/or manufacture products or services and where it can have access to a network of business support services. Incubators across the country support small and emerging businesses by fulfilling these basic needs. During this session attendees will learn how to develop business incubators to foster small business growth in their community.


* Agenda subject to change

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, attendance at all sessions on day 1 (Thursday) and day 2 of the course (Friday), as well as your participation in the interactive course activities are required to earn full credit. Partial credit is not given.**



Carol Lauffer
Business Cluster Development LLC
Palo Alto, CA

As Principal and owner of Business Cluster Development (BCD), Carol has helped more than 80 communities, universities and corporations across the U.S. to plan and deploy successful strategies and programs that support entrepreneurship, create new businesses, move innovative products to market, and build strong ecosystems and clusters, resulting in economic diversification, job creation, technology commercialization, and economic growth. Carol has hands-on experience with a range of entrepreneurial support programs, including accelerators, incubators, coworking, maker spaces, and various hybrids. She has significant expertise in cluster-based entrepreneurial support programs and strategies. Prior to BCD, Carol was Managing Director of Panasonic’s corporate, venture-backed incubator in Cupertino, California and a Principal in its $100 million venture fund. She managed an organization in San Jose, California that helped software entrepreneurs to start their businesses and connect with investors and experts, and early in her career, managed business assistance programs for the Ben Franklin Partnership in Philadelphia. Carol has 30+ years of experience supporting entrepreneurship and small business, and economic development. In addition, she has served on the management teams and advisory boards of several incubators. As a dedicated member of the industry, Carol served on the board of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), holding the post of Chair of the Board of Directors of InBIA in 2010-11. Currently, she serves on the board of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Carol is a course instructor for both organizations’ professional development programs, and a frequent speaker on best practices for entrepreneurial support organizations, ecosystem assessment and development, and targeting technology clusters and other verticals for economic development. In April 2015, InBIA honored Carol with the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing her significant contributions to the association and the industry. Carol earned a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Northwestern University. She is a travel enthusiast with visits to more than 50 countries across 6 continents, and 46 states.

Dr. Thomas O’Neal
Associate VP for Research and Commercialization
University of Central Florida and Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program
Orlando, FL

Dr. Tom O'Neal’s efforts focus on building strong research programs at UCF and the transfer and commercialization of research results into the marketplace. This work helps to build an innovation based economy for Central Florida. Currently, Tom is the Associate Vice President of Research & Commercialization at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He also serves as the Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) and the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (FEGI). Some of his areas of responsibility include the sponsored programs office, technology transfer, compliance, the venture lab, the UCF Business Incubation Program and the Florida's Economic Gardening Institute. Tom has been part of UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization team working to help UCF become a leading metropolitan research university since 2000. He also serves as a core member of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

Tom has assisted in the formation of numerous companies and the commercialization of technologies developed at UCF. In 1999, Tom established the UCF Technology Incubator of which he serves as the Founding Director. Under Tom's leadership, The UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) has expanded to 10 locations. The UCF Business Incubator earned "Incubator of the Year" by the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) where he currently serves as a board member and has "helped more than 170 emerging companies that create more than $500 million in annual revenue and accounted for more than 1,650 new jobs in the local area in 2009, with an average salary of $59,000." firstMONDAY magazine. (December 3, 2010).

Erik R. Pages
President and Founder
EntreWorks Consulting

Erik R. Pages is President and Founder of EntreWorks Consulting (www.entreworks.net), an economic development consulting and policy development firm focused on helping communities and organizations achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Since its founding, EntreWorks has worked with communities in 46 states and overseas. Recent engagements include work for the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Pentagon’s Office of Economic Adjustment, the National Association of Counties, the US Small Business Administration, and for communities in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

He previously served as Policy Director for the National Commission on Entrepreneurship, and has also held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and on Capitol Hill. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, and serves on the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council and on the Board of Directors of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University, where he has served as an Adjunct Professor. He also holds degrees from Dickinson College (Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of Pittsburgh.



  CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.