The CRFE’s first funded project is the Charlotte Entrepreneur Growth Report, which will assess the region’s entrepreneurial competitiveness in comparison to North and South Carolina’s major metro areas as well as peer markets including Atlanta, Austin, Kansas City, Nashville, San Francisco and Tampa.
This is the first systematic effort to measure Charlotte’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and is designed to provide two specific outcomes. First, it will educate community leaders on the entrepreneurial sector impact and importance to the region’s economic health with quantifiable data. Secondly, it will identify gaps and needs the community can address to improve infrastructure and create a business environment where high growth entrepreneurism can thrive.
In essence, the report will provide an objective measure of the health of the entrepreneurial community, as well as an approach and methodology for measuring on-going improvements in the ecosystem. It is believed that Charlotte is one of only a handful of regions in the nation addressing their entrepreneurial capabilities in such a systemic and fact-based manner.
Charlotte Entrepreneur Growth Report
Data Insights #1: Statistical data will be collected, organized and analyzed to measure the Charlotte region relative to other metro areas on factors relevant to innovation-driven entrepreneurship. This will include innovation data such as Small Business Innovation Research/ Small Business Technology Transfer funding, NC IDEA grants, and higher education research and development funding, patents and startups. It will include funding metrics of venture capital investments, angel capital activity and specialized sources such as NC Biotech Center loans and grants. It will measure company data including Inc. 500/5000 recognition and participation in startup programs.
Data Insights #2: The project will survey innovation-driven entrepreneurs to collect original data about employment, revenue, capital investment and entrepreneur satisfaction.
Data Insights #3: The project includes a brief survey of Mecklenburg resident attitudes about entrepreneurship.