Creating a better local business environment (Part 2): What to measure

Make no mistake: economic development is a competition. Local governments need to do whatever they can to create a local business environment that nurtures a competitive business community; one in which local firms successfully compete in local, national and international markets. In the first post in this series I described the role of local government…

Creating a better local business environment (Part 1): The role of local government

Local government is often overlooked as a critical arena for microeconomic reforms designed to influence the decisions of private businesspeople to invest in the local economy and generate the jobs required by a vibrant, sustainable community. While the private sector creates jobs and drives economic growth, governments set the conditions in which this can occur.…

Better business regulations create jobs

The World Bank’s annual Doing Business assessment was released today with some important claims regarding the impact of regulatory reform on job creation. There has been much debate over the years about the significance of the link between good business regulation and economic growth, and this year’s report is a further contribution. This year’s report,…

SME Development Agencies

Over the last few months, I’ve provided advice to a number of government funded national SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) development agencies. Such agencies are very popular among governments, but less so among enterprise development specialist. While they can focus government efforts on supporting the small business sector, they can easily become expensive bureaucracies that…

The failure of community economic development

I began my professional working life in the field of ‘community economic development’ (CED) and ‘local economic development’ (LED). These models of development provide an important contribution to understanding the problems facing local communities, but they are often seen as a poor cousin to ‘real’ economic development. Whilst this is unfair, it is not completely…