In a previous story, we highlighted a common problem: the temptation to chase economic growth in every direction. Yes, it sounds impressive when you say your agency is working on a multitude of initiatives and sectors. But there’s no way to effectively follow through without a king’s ransom in resources.
Last we checked, king’s ransoms were in short supply. Best to nix that plan.
Instead, create economic growth by focusing on your mission. Do one or two specific things really, really well.
Our chosen specialty is helping stable businesses get bigger and relocate here, so they can provide meaningful employment for residents in our region.
Which brings us to the subject of this story: how do we find those growth-oriented businesses?
Our overarching mission was to develop a diverse economic ecosystem, building resilience, and ensuring overall growth even if certain sectors experienced slowdowns. That means focusing on sectors that drive the economy and have a great chance of resulting in job creation, from marine space and oceans sciences, to aquaculture and agriculture, to life sciences and health companies, etc. In short, not putting all your eggs in one basket.
As far as strategy went, it was a good start. But we needed more.
Specifically, we needed to target companies we believed were capable of achieving the sort of growth we needed to ensure a growing pool of good jobs.
That’s where the Prosperity Index came in.
Systematizing economic growth
The Prosperity Index is a tool we created to turn economic growth into an easy to track, easy to organize system. Created by experienced investors and CEOs, the Index’s highly sophisticated spreadsheet features enable us to measure company performance against a set of criteria that reflect our values, priorities and regional competitive advantages.
We use the Index throughout the mentorship of each company we bring into our program:
Screening – The Index helps us determine which candidate companies we should be bringing into the pilot program, and gives us an idea of where how we ought to deploy our team of helpers and business connecters.
Measuring improvement – When companies enter the program, we use the Index to benchmark them. Then, as they progress, we measure their successes and (more important) shortfalls. This enables us to more effectively intervene, and provide targeted services to help them along. It also allows us to compare companies to others in their field.
Marketing success – At the conclusion of a company’s journey through the program, we market their success and growth measured by the Prosperity Index.
We see a number of advantages in the Index – primarily the ability to measure companies objectively, and to present their progress in a graphic, easy to market fashion.
Speaking of progress, the Prosperity Index allows us to systematize our operation, and will enable us to build our expertise into a very effective product.
This means we can scale our operation, even on an entrepreneurial budget.
A good indicator of our own economic growth, you might say.