Business activity in the region drives employment and creates opportunity while generating the tax revenues that enable the public sector to provide and coordinate crucial services.
The Global Positioning Strategy (GPS) for World Class Business Growth in Greater Philadelphia outlines a shared agenda for boosting entrepreneurship, fostering innovation, and strengthening global business connections in our region. The goals, strategies, and key regional indicators identified in the GPS are the culmination of a multi-year regional priority-setting and strategy development effort that has drawn upon the collective wisdom and passion of hundreds of area business, civic, philanthropic, government, and community leaders. This regional strategic framework emerged from the work of a cross-sector business growth strategy team convened in 2012 by the Economy League and the CEO Council for Growth.
New and growing businesses fuel a dynamic regional economy that builds on Greater Philadelphia’s industry and research strengths and connects to global opportunities.
Making an Impact
wc circle template 1 png
Philly Startup Leaders
Started in 2007, Philly Startup Leaders is among the youngest and most dynamic organizations devoted to strengthening entrepreneurial networks in Greater Philadelphia. With a primary focus on technology and connecting startups with information, inspiration and a community of peers, Philly Startup Leaders holds events such as the annual Entrepreneur Expo and Founder Factory, which bring together hundreds of area entrepreneurs and investors, and manages an active listserv with a following of 2,000. Read More >>
Four Fundamental Drivers of Business Growth
Developing the Global Positioning Strategies for World Class Business Growth
During the first half of 2012, the CEO Council for Growth and the Economy League brought together a 36-person Business Growth Strategy Team (see below) to identify and build consensus around a prioritized set of strategies for our region. The business growth vision and aspirational goals for Greater Philadelphia presented in the Economy League’s Focus 2026 report framed this group’s work. The World Class Business Growth goals evolved from the Focus 2026 report and focus on building on cluster strengths, fostering entrepreneurship, leveraging academic and research assets, and connecting to global business opportunities.
To support the Strategy Team’s work, the Economy League summarized current research related to key drivers of success for growing regional cluster strengths, fostering entrepreneurship, cultivating innovation, and spurring international business and completed an analysis of current business growth assets, challenges, and opportunities specific to our region. Key regional assets and strengths supporting business growth in Greater Philadelphia included strong core regional characteristics, existing and emerging industry clusters, robust higher education and research institutions, and emerging entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems. Major challenges facing the region include the overall business climate and culture, financial resources, fragmentation, regulatory and political obstacles, workforce skills and quality, and weak regional brand.
Following identification of these regional assets and challenges, the strategy team discussed the strategies that would best position Greater Philadelphia for business growth success over the long haul. Out of the dozens of potential approaches or ways of attacking business growth, the strategy team reached consensus on six mutually reinforcing priority strategies that would provide the most promising path to achieving the 2026 Business Growth goals. The six priority strategies are seen as being at the intersection of addressing crucial needs and capitalizing on current assets and opportunities in Greater Philadelphia. They focus on strengthening entrepreneurial networks, increasing availability of growth capital, supporting talent development in key clusters, spurring technology transfer and commercialization, elevating the region’s international business connections, and marketing the region’s business success stories.
The recommendations that emerged from the Business Growth Strategy Team’s intensive and collaborative work serve as the basis for this GPS. As with organizational strategic plans, this GPS does not go so far as to lay out detailed tactics, but rather identifies the types of strategies and collaborative efforts that offer the greatest impact and “bang-for-the-buck” to make progress toward shared goals. The priority strategies presented in this GPS point toward opportunities to support and scale existing efforts in our region to maximize impact, as well as areas where new initiatives and investments are needed. It sets the stage for immediate initiatives to be taken on by World Class partners and provides a framework for ongoing research, monitoring, and strategy adjustment by the Economy League.
As an open-source regional strategy framework, it is expected that this GPS will evolve over time and serve as a living document that can be updated to accommodate input from additional regional stakeholders or shifts in the economic landscape. The ultimate success of the GPS, however, will be measured by the extent to which regional leaders and organizations align behind its goals, metrics, and strategies and develop and implement work plans guided by its recommendations.
World Class Business Growth Strategy Team