Four Indicators to Assess Local Ecosystem Vibrancy

Ashtabula County needs to strengthen its entrepreneurial support system. This is especially important as our existing industry base grows more mature. Where do we start? We begin with an assessment of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the rise of entrepreneurial ecosystems – elements within a community that support firm formation and growth – how can local leaders measure success? That’s the subject of a report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The report recommends several measurements within each of the four indicators:

  1. Density: density of new and young firms, defined as the number of new and young companies per 1,000 people in a geographic area; share of employment in new and young firms; and high tech (or the region’s preferred sector) density.
  2. Fluidity: population flux, or the level at which people move between cities or regions, providing a constant remixing that is key to idea generation; labor market reallocation, or people’s ability to find the right match of jobs within a region; and number of high-growth firms.
  3. Connectivity: program connectivity, or how connected entrepreneurs are with resources and each other; spinoff rates, which indicate the extent to which successive waves of new companies are created; and dealmaker networks, which inform entrepreneurial leaders about how effectively deal professionals are establishing relationships and facilitating new firm formation.
  4. Diversity: economic diversification, which ensures that a city or region is not overly reliant on a particular industry; immigration, or how effectively the ecosystem attracts and assimilates immigrants, who tend to start companies more frequently than the native born do; and income mobility, or how well the entrepreneurial ecosystem diversifies economic opportunity.

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