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Entrepreneurship and Place-Based Economic Development



A Successful Approach to Community Reinvention


[01:14] Erik Pages is introduced.

[01:39] Erik talks about how he ended up focusing his work in economic development and entrepreneurship.

[02:27] Erik shares the keys to success of communities that have reinvented themselves.

[03:38] Why is this approach to economic recovery not more widely used?

[04:44] An example of a community that’s been successful with this kind of economic-recovery approach.

[05:28] Erik describes what a place-based approach is.

[06:17] An example from Coal Country that is taking the place-based approach.

[07:14] Erik gives advice to those living in a community in need of reinventing itself.

[08:04] Strategies for leveraging the entrepreneurial talent that’s found in every community.

[09:12] Erik states how communities can make themselves more resilient to economic changes.

[10:53] Erik tells if it’s possible to build an economy that will keep people’s jobs since technology is replacing some jobs.

[12:25] Erik shares his thoughts on the Trump administration’s objective of creating more jobs through better trade deals and a better tax structure.

[13:49] Erik speaks to whether the coal economy is coming back.

[15:46] How can Coal Country make an easier transition to an alternative-energy economy?

[17:20] Erik proposes a national-level policy to move our economy forward.

[19:18] Erik shares if there is a need of a better system for re-training and job-transition programs.

[19:55] Erik gives his suggestion that would allow easier and faster reinvention of communities.

[20:43] Erik tells how people can learn more about his work and entrepreneurial economic development.


Erik Pages is the President of EntreWorks Consulting, an economic development consulting and policy development firm focused on helping communities and organizations achieve their entrepreneurial potential.

Learn More About Erik


Based in Arlington, VA, EntreWorks Consulting is an economic development consulting and policy development firm focused on helping communities, businesses, and organizations achieve their entrepreneurial potential. EntreWorks works with a diverse base of clients including state and local governments, Chambers of Commerce, business leaders, educational institutions, and non-profits. Since its founding, EntreWorks has worked with customers in forty states and overseas. EntreWorks Consulting works with communities, organizations, and civic leaders to design, implement, and promote innovative economic development strategies, policies, and programs. They help create and publicize the best of new thinking about community economic development. Their work is based on a belief that entrepreneurship in all its forms is the key to revitalizing our communities, ranging from the booming technology hot spots to distressed rural and urban communities.


Take Away Quotes

“I think I come at entrepreneurship from a slightly different perspective of most people. I’m not one of these people that adores Bill Gates or adores Steve Jobs. I’m interested in entrepreneurship because I think it’s an economic-development strategy that’s available to all communities, unlike some other, say, high-tech-development strategy. So that’s why I’m a big fan of entrepreneurship, and I think it’s an economic-development strategy that can fit in almost any kind of community.”

“I do think that there’s a couple things that successful communities do. One is that they engage everybody in the community. It’s not just a handful of leaders doing it. The other thing—and this is really the biggest challenge for economic-development folks—is you need to, what we like to say is, hit for singles, not for home runs. Don’t try to replace all of the lost jobs in one fell swoop, because that’s not possible. Recovery from an economic shock takes time, and you have to be in there for the long haul, and you’ve got to rebuild yourself one job at a time. That’s the way to do it.”

“When we look at economic development, you could have a place-based strategy that tries to make a place better for business or for individuals, and we also have a people-based strategy where you provide education and training to people and give them the skills you want. Most of the programs that we have in the United States—public programs, at least—are people-based programs, primarily education and training programs. We don’t invest as much as we should in place-based programs that are trying to improve the quality of life in a place, that could improve the business prospects of a place so that every community, no matter where you live, you could have economic opportunity.”


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2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

EntreWorks Consulting

Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

Kauffman Foundation

U.S. Economic Development Administration

National Association of Development Organizations


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