Crain's Detroit Business: MBA grad Antonio Luck on how supporting midsize businesses boosts the local economy
Chasing the next Amazon and investing in grassroots startups are valuable economic development strategies. But Southeast Michigan could more significantly grow and diversify its economy by directing support to high-growth companies in the middle, according to a new report released this week. Companies with 50 or more employees, launched by local entrepreneurs and operating in industries that draw income from outside the region, are creating the bulk of jobs locally and nationally in the country's most prosperous cities. Yet over the past 15 years, Southeast Michigan has lagged other parts of the country in generating those high-growth businesses, according to "Southeast Michigan's Competitive Advantages in Entrepreneurship," a report set to be released Tuesday by the William Davidson Foundation and Endeavor Insight, the research arm of New York City-based Endeavor Global Inc. It found that supporting midsize, high-value, entrepreneurial companies is a proven strategy for helping grow and diversify the local economy. "We really believe there's an opportunity to provide more support for those organizations," said Antonio Luck, managing director of Endeavor's Detroit office."If we help them scale, we'll help them create the majority of the region's jobs."