Cities Honored for Entrepreneurial Spirit

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, the following Oakland County communities performed well in eCities 2011 and have been identified as five and four star communities.

Five-Star Communities

City of Auburn Hills *
City of Farmington
City of Rochester Hills *
City of Southfield
City of Troy
City of Wixom *

Four-Star Communities

Charter Township of Waterford
City of Madison Heights
City of Northville
City of Novi *
Village of Oxford

* denotes top performer

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 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.