Most, though not all, regional economies start their ViTAL Economy (VE) Journey with our Envision step, which includes a wide variety of Awareness Seminars - from speeches and keynote addresses to entire conferences and retreats. These services will inspire your community to build sufficient momentum and the critical mass necessary to transform your regional economy. We show your community why hope for a brighter future is within your grasp, despite the many obstacles you face.
At VE, we believe that "if you can't measure it, you can’t manage it." Nothing is more critical to measure the success of your initiative than an honest assessment of your starting point. This baseline assessment should measure your region against key benchmarks and identify any gaps in your foundation for economic success. VE has spent years developing economic benchmarking and asset mapping tools specifically designed to meet the needs of leaders of remote regional economies, who may have limited economic training or access to such expertise.
Every VE Journey includes measurable, time-limited, results-oriented and action-driven strategies for developing your regional economy. As your guides during this step, our VE Alliance members use proven processes and tools to coach your regional leaders and volunteer teams to create a variety of asset-based CED strategies that may include promoting leadership collaboration, developing digital readiness, improving quality of place, attracting capital, developing industry clusters and building a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are the key drivers of success in the 21st century. However, rural communities face a significant challenge when they try to support and retain innovators and rapidly-growing companies that tend to be attracted to the resources available at urban centers. VE’s Innovate step creates a regional Innovation Ecosystem that will increase your region’s rate of new business starts, economic diversity and resiliency by using full-service business incubators, better access to finance at all stages of business growth, entrepreneurial education, Small Business Development Centers, technology transfer and more in a system that links all of these elements together.
In this step, your leaders Mobilize their teams to carry out a VE initiative. This is the time when all of your planning comes together to implement a collaborative funding strategy, build collaborative frameworks to more effectively manage relationships across historic boundaries and deepen collaborative leadership skills. Each of these actions sustains the success of your initiative and ensures that changed behavior does not revert back to old, failed behaviors. What makes VE different from other community economic development consultants is that we continue to partner with you during this stage, when the hard work begins.
This step in the VE Journey allows your community to Amplify your success by partnering with network providers. Most regional economies and the broadband providers that serve them have concluded that regional economic growth and increases in broadband demand will always be a zero sum game – “if we share we lose.” Through Amplify, regional economies and network providers learn that collaboration grows economic opportunity and broadband market demand. Learn how this process can work in your community.
During the Finance step of your VE Journey, you’ll need to obtain predictable funding for both the umbrella organization that coordinates your transformation efforts (Collaborative Funding) and the individual projects you launch (Collaborative Finance). VE Alliance members help you with both aspects of financing your transformation by improving your community’s financial literacy, undertaking a comprehensive capital assessment of your region and developing a regional economy capital strategy to connect and access specialty finance, equity and debt capital resources.
Throughout the VE Journey, we strive to leave the leaders of your region with a body of knowledge that allows you to nurture your community’s growth long after we depart. This approach is a key factor that differentiates us from other economic development consultants. Our services in this step include Leadership IQ™, an assessment of a region’s leadership capacity and gaps, change management and leadership development services, and knowledge-sharing tools and technologies that can expand the base of champions engaged in your regional development.
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