Land-use webinar to explore 'Designing Entrepreneur-Friendly Communities'

August 12, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- How important is it to incorporate considerations for new businesses in your land-use planning? That will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar, which will take place at noon Aug. 20, will be Jeff Himes, extension educator, and Walt Whitmer, senior extension associate.

It is widely recognized that entrepreneurs are important job creators in today's economy, yet there appears to be limited understanding of the roles entrepreneurs play in employment and income in regions and counties across Pennsylvania, Whitmer pointed out.

"A growing body of literature illustrates that local governments can play a large role in the success of entrepreneurs in regions and communities across the United States," he said.

"Local governments that are 'entrepreneurial friendly' seek out opportunities to meet small business owners to better understand their needs and concerns and seek innovative solutions to work with the business community to address those needs."

This webinar will highlight how a community culture that values and supports small business and entrepreneurs can be developed. The session will address how to improve a community's entrepreneurial ecosystem by answering these questions:

­– What is entrepreneurial development?         

– Why does it matter?                   

– What are the characteristics of entrepreneurs?      

– How do your create an entrepreneurial ecosystem?  

– What are the characteristics of an entrepreneurial-friendly community?  

– What are the best tools and approaches?      

– How do you create sustainable networks?

– What resources are available?

– Are there examples of entrepreneurial communities?

"In this webinar we'll draw on a growing body of research, information and practical examples from around the state and nation related to entrepreneurial development," Whitmer said. "What is it? How can it augment and fit within other economic development efforts? And we'll look at what you may want to consider to make your community more entrepreneurial-friendly.

"We will also focus on tools, techniques and implementation strategies for creating and fostering entrepreneurial communities."

Webinars offered in the monthly land-use series, which all start at noon and are recorded for future viewing, include the following:

-- July 23: "How to Make your Comprehensive Plan Support Economic Development."

--Sept.17: "How Can Planners Work to Enhance Community Food Systems?"

--Oct. 15: "Planning for Healthy Communities: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice."

--Nov. 19: "Engaging Your Community's Generations in Planning."

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association.

For more information, contact Jeff Himes at 570-724-9120 or by email at, or visit the website to register for the webinars.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 12, 2014