Investing in Entrepreneurs

My good friends and colleagues, Gregg Lichtenstein and Tom Lyons, have just published a book that should be read by all with an interest in supporting local entrepreneurs.  Investing in Entrepreneurs:  A Strategic Approach for Strengthening Your Regional and Community Economy provides a book-length review of the Entrepreneurial League System (ELS), Gregg and Tom’s customized program for how community leaders can help local entreprneeurs build successful businessses.  The ELS approach has been reviewed elsewhere, but this is the first detailed book-length assessment.  While a short summary can’t do it justice, let me attempt a brief introduction to how ELS works.  The key concept is the skill ladder—the gradation of skills that each entrepreneur possesses.  Some are in the minor leagues, and some are in the major leagues.   ELS provides a rigorous assessment of each entrepreneur’s skill set, and provides a customized set of support tools and training to upgrade these skills.  As the entrepreneur gains skills, he or she moves up the skill ladder, and, in the process, hopefully builds a more successful and profitable business.  Managing the local entrepreneurial pipeline becomes a critical mission for community leaders.  All communities will be home to entrepreneurs at all points in the pipeline.  Prosperous communities will be those that succeed in developing support efforts targeted to entrepreneurs at all points in the skill ladder and the entrepreneurial pipeline.  If you want to learn more about this interest approach, along with examples on how the concepts work in the “real world,” check out Investing in Entrepreneurs.

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