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What Is Involved in Economic Development Training?

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  • Written By: Jan Fletcher
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2016
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Economic development training typically involves teaching key individuals in a community those concepts, strategies and methods that will enhance economic opportunities. Increasing economic vitality in a local or regional area usually begins by helping community members understand what actually comprises economic development. Workers may train residents in an area on how to obtain financing, how to start and operate a business, or where to find resources to use in launching a business. Some economic development initiatives involve regional players and may include both investors and business owners. There is often a political aspect to economic development training, as zoning and land-use laws sometimes influence economic development activities.

Some people may not readily understand what drives successful development. Community leaders who understand the area's history and its economic base often have a key role to play. They may disseminate knowledge within their spheres of influence, as well as receive training on how to apply innovative techniques to stimulate an area's economy. When the historical experiences of local leaders are tapped, then economic development training may proceed without the delays that often result when a community's sacred cows are ignored.

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Often, much of a community's economy is linked to both historical experiences and geographical features such as rivers, or mountain passes, for example. As a result, elected officials and business leaders may already have a significant understanding of what types of economic development will thrive in that area. For example, if fishing has historically been a key economic contributor in a coastal community, those collective skills involved in fishing would likely be taken into consideration before constructing a viable economic development training plan. If both business and political leaders are not cognizant of the ways in which local enterprises may be intertwined in the community, then efforts to launch new development may fail due to lack of community support.

Another aspect of training that will generally encourage the growth of businesses is offering instruction to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners. This instruction often focuses on avoiding common pitfalls that may cause a business endeavor to fail. One common form of economic development training involves helping people in a community increase their financial literacy. Economic development training may also consist of teaching key individuals in a community how to launch a micro-finance lending program.

Sometimes, businesses band together for mutual benefit, and economic development training may be geared toward helping to launch coalitions or business development organizations. At the individual level, economic development training may focus on increasing financial literacy, as well as issuing warnings that may prevent people from succumbing to scammers or swindlers. The overall concept in economic development is to train a sufficient number of people in the community, so that the level of entrepreneurial knowledge will increase, and will carry the community forward into a more prosperous future.

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