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Middle America and Beyond: New Endeavor Insight Report Identifies Competitive Advantages to Entrepreneurship Growth with Case Study on Cincinnati-Indianapolis-Louisville Region

By March 5, 2020 No Comments

Endeavor Insight report concludes that a regional approach to supporting high-growth entrepreneurship is key to maximizing middle America’s economic productivity. 

Louisville, KY – March 5, 2020 – A new report released today by Endeavor in Louisville says the Middle American region has major opportunities to improve economic outcomes should innovative strategies be put in place to support new and flourishing high-growth entrepreneurs and their companies.

The report, which includes a case study on the Louisville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis region, is conducted by Endeavor Insight, the research division of Endeavor, a non-profit organization which supports high-impact entrepreneurs across the world. This report was developed with funding by the Paul Ogle Foundation.

The report asserts that Middle American cities need new solutions to avoid falling further behind coastal cities as lower incomes, smaller populations, higher poverty rates, and shrinking industries continue to pull the region back. 

However, where misfortune falls, opportunity strikes: metro areas in Middle America have significant resources that can be used for growth, such as greater access to customers, large numbers of skilled college graduates, high-quality of life, and an increase in investment capital. In fact, 14 Middle American cities have seen the number of local venture deals double or increase higher in the last six years.

According to the report, Middle American cities that produce Big, Entrepreneurial, Super-Productive, and Tech-Enabled (BEST) businesses generate more economic productivity. They create more jobs with higher average wages, and increase the size of local economies. What’s more, the companies contributing to greater productivity are common across Middle America. These include software-based companies, advanced manufacturing businesses, and high-value research and consulting firms.

While economic progress has been made, the pace at which growth is happening must increase in order for the local Louisville-Cincinnati-Indianapolis region to keep up with other U.S. cities. The report’s case study on the local region found that population growth is increasing but has grown slower than a typical U.S. city, while nearly half of the region’s workers are in sectors expected to decline or grow at a slower rate than the national average.

The report suggests local leaders dedicate more support to the BEST businesses, noting that traditional economic development strategies may not be enough to improve local productivity. The recommendations for promoting high-growth entrepreneurship and supporting local founders include:

  • Identifying the BEST companies that make up local competitive advantages in entrepreneurship: Competitive advantages in entrepreneurship can be found by identifying categories of a city’s BEST businesses that have a great local concentration and dynamism.
  • Aligning resources to the needs of the founders leading the BEST companies: Decision makers can work to better understand the opportunities that each group of companies offer and develop initiatives to support these types of entrepreneurs, who often face very different challenges than founders at early stage and smaller businesses.
  • Acting regionally to broaden the support available to the BEST businesses: When coordinating regionally, there are more resources available to entrepreneurs including local support organizations like Endeavor in Louisville, which operates regionally, that can help facilitate exchanges amongst founders operating the BEST local businesses.

“Middle America, and specifically the Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati region, already has amazing, fast-growing entrepreneurs. We have incredible potential, and need to continue providing support to help the entrepreneurs here reach truly impactful scale,” said Endeavor Managing Director Jackson Andrews. “At Endeavor, we have selected 18 regional entrepreneurs into our global network, and are continuing to promote high-growth entrepreneurship as a vehicle for significant economic growth across our region.”

Further data, detail on the analysis of BEST companies in the region, and examples of high-growth entrepreneurship that is thriving in middle America can be found within the report.

Go to endeavor.org/ma-cae to access the report.

About Endeavor

Established in 1997, Endeavor is leading the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement to drive economic growth and job creation by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 60,000 individuals and selected nearly 2,000 founders leading over 1,200 scale-up companies. With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created over 3 million jobs, generate more than $20 billion in revenue each year, and inspire future generations to innovate and take risks, building strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in growth markets. Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 35+ growth markets throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.

About Endeavor Insight

Endeavor Insight seeks to deepen understanding of how high-impact entrepreneurs and scale-ups contribute to job creation and long-term economic growth in order to educate key constituencies, such as policy makers. In addition, Endeavor Insight seeks to serve as a knowledge center for high-impact entrepreneurs, VCs and others in order to provide useful information and tools that assist entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses.