Rochester Hills honored for entrepreneurial growth

Rochester Hills has been identified as one of seven top performing communities in the state of Michigan at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a study by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. Rochester Hills was also recognized as a five-star community.

“We are honored to be one of Michigan’s leaders,” said Mayor Bryan Barnett. “Entrepreneurship has become a main focus in greater Rochester area because of its importance to future expansion and diversification of our regional economies, as well as the impact that small businesses have on job creation.”

In addition to performing well in the numerical portions of eCities 2010, the seven top performing communities are recognized for programs that aid entrepreneurial growth. These communities demonstrate that they understand what small businesses need to be successful by communicating with them and providing connections to broader resources and insight on trends.

“Our proactive approach in working with small businesses to connect them to resources in the community is what makes our economic strategy successful,” said Pamela Valentik, the city’s Manager of Economic Development.


The eCities research surveyed more than 100 Michigan communities which are home to 36% of the state’s residents and 44% of its college graduates. These communities also had more than $1 billion in commercial construction last year and more than half of them share services with other communities.

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 32-item index of entrepreneurial activity. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation.

“The focus of this project is assisting local communities by identifying best practices and methods that they can implement which will aid with job growth strategies, economic diversification, and development of entrepreneurs,” said iLab’s Director, Tim Davis.

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