Making Local Economies Stronger and Resilient
Local economies and communities benefit from entrepreneurship, capacity building, and economic growth and development. This is the way to promote social resilience and help community members to develop essential skills and competencies. Capacity building makes it easier for members to face, confront, and overcome social and economic challenges and hardships, and capacity building should be fostered by governments at the national, regional, and local level. To this end, small businesses have an important role to play as competition means better quality services and products, more jobs for members in disadvantaged communities, and stronger local economies.
Fostering Entrepreneurship at the Local Level
There are many ways to foster entrepreneurship and new businesses in local communities, one being to create a regulatory environment that helps businesses operate, expand, and thrive. Investing in human capital is also of paramount importance as this means that businesses have access to a diverse and talented workforce. New learning experiences help create a competitive workforce in times when more and more companies are looking for employees that are willing to try flexible working arrangements. Short-term contract arrangements, for example, are in high demand today. The broader inclusion of alternative classroom arrangements and learning opportunities certainly contributes to creating a flexible workforce that is prepared to commute, willing to try alternative working arrangements, and ready to tackle business challenges. To this end, there are several ways in which governments, local authorities, individuals, and businesses can focus on new learning opportunities to complement traditional classroom education. One thing to do is to offer classes and short-term programs that teach students job-specific and technical skills. Events and workshops also help create a talented workforce that is better prepared to serve local businesses and economies.
To foster economic development at the local level, it is important to create flexible labor markets and more opportunities for investment. Immigration and migration help create flexible labor markets and so does free movement of capital, businesses, and employees. Inhibiting flexibility is to the disadvantage of local communities because this results in uncertainty on the part of businesses and investors.
Other Factors in Play
Other factors also play a role, one being support and good regulatory environment to encourage cluster growth. Fostering startup density creates competition and improves the chances for successful businesses and ventures to emerge. It is also a good idea to foster the development of networks that connect businesses with research clusters and academic networks to work on innovative solutions that drive local economic growth. Developing physical hubs also helps by increasing the pool of opportunities, from better access to financing to more networking opportunities, training, and a lot more. A positive planning and zoning environment also works to the advantage of entrepreneurs and local communities. Entrepreneurs have an important role to play in local communities and should serve as role models to encourage others to make their ideas come true. Campaigns organized by the local authorities to celebrate entrepreneurs also help.