— Flint Township was recently recognized as a fourstar community by the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s iLabs eCities research, which identifies top-performing communities in Michigan at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development. The study named 48 communitieswas done by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research (iLabs).
“We received a certificate,” said Tracey Tucker, economic enhancement director. “Most places that were honored were cities, and we were the only Genesee County community honored.”
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. In total, 55 communities across the state were recognized in the research.
“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 were honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn Oct. 19 with Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, who provided 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.