September 20, 2020

UMW Spearheads Regional Economic Plan for Growth

The Fredericksburg area will be a buzzing hub of commerce where opportunities abound for people and businesses to thrive. This vision for the region was unveiled at the Transformation 20/20 Regional Economic Development Summit held Oct. 29 at the University of Mary Washington’s Stafford Campus. UMW President Richard V. Hurley The summit convened business leaders, economic development directors and local government administrators throughout the region to engage in the process of crafting a realistic and sustainable blueprint for economic growth. The ongoing process, which is spearheaded by UMW, has involved more than 200 community and business leaders over the past year. “The Fredericksburg region is well-positioned for future growth,” said keynote speaker Christine Chmura, president of Chmura Economics and Analytics, which recently completed an industry cluster analysis for the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance. The region, Planning District 16, includes Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George and Caroline. Chmura noted that the region’s growth rate of 2.4 percent puts it far above the national average of slightly less than one percent and makes it one of the fastest growing areas of the country. Her study identified six “priority” clusters that are anticipated to experience the most growth and on which regional leaders should focus attention: business services; finance, insurance and real estate; health and life sciences; information and communications, manufacturing, and public administration. Summit speakers pointed out that the region’s infrastructure, transportation, land usage, job training and other components have not kept pace with such rapid growth. Those are areas that will require concerted efforts and regional collaboration. Other goals identified at the summit include:
  • Encourage business development, especially entrepreneurial growth
  • Become a tourist destination
  • Promote training and education for current and future jobs
  • Build economic resilience
  • Create a regional lance use plan
Also revealed at the summit were the results of a study conducted by Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Next Generation of Business Leaders. In their survey of about 200 local young professionals between the ages of 21 and 40, more than half indicated they plan to stay in the area for a decade or longer. They like the slower-paced lifestyle of Fredericksburg and believe it’s a great place to raise a family. UMW President Richard V. Hurley chairs the regional economic development leadership group, along with Fred Rankin, President and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare. Hurley said he stepped up to the plate because he sees public service as a role of a university. While many attempts have been made over the years to have all the localities face regional economic issues collaboratively, he sees the current initiative as having staying power. “The University is neutral,” he said. “If anybody could undertake this effort without suspicion, it would be us.” Rankin added, “We’ve achieved some amount of success. Now we need to take collaboration to the next step . . . We will not be successful unless we find a way to come together in regional collaboration.”

CED Students Present Research

 

University of Mary Washington Sophomore Jack Anderson, Junior Josh Bollinger, and Senior Shayda Rezazad presented their semester’s work on researching the small business economy of Stafford, Va. at the Center for Economic Development on April 25 to Economic Development Executives from Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties.

University of Mary Washington Sophomore Jack Anderson, Junior Josh Bollinger, and Senior Shayda Rezazad presented their semester’s work on researching the small business economy of Stafford, Va. at the Center for Economic Development on April 25 to Economic Development Executives from Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties. Pictured from left are Brian J. Baker, executive director for entrepreneurship and business development at the University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development, Rezazad, Bollinger and Anderson.

 

Susan Ball Completes Certification Series

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The University of Mary Washington Small Business Development Center’s Early Venture Specialist, Susan Ball, recently completed the SBDCGlobal Consultant Certification Series.  This program prepares SBDC consultants to assist clients with international trade activities.  SBDCGlobal is a powerful online trade platform that will link clients of the U.S., Mexican and Columbian Small Business Development Center networks for international trade opportunities.

Eagle StartUp Challenge

The UMW Entrepreneurs Club, EagleWorks, and the University of Mary Washington Small Business Development Center present…

Eagle StartUp Challenge

“Growing the World Through New Business Creation”

 

Draft Your Business Concept

Craft Your Pitch

Network with Other Entrepreneurs

Earn a Business Assistance Package

 

The goal of this competition is to encourage startups among the members of the University of Mary Washington student community.

Business Concept Deadline: April 4, 2013

Finalist Announcement:  April 11, 2013

Oral Presentations and Awards Ceremony – April 24, 2013

 For more information, please contact ced@umw.edu

SBDC Announces Veteran-Owned Business Awards

The UMW Small Business Development Center recently awarded the 2013 Virginia Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Awards to two Stafford-based businesses. The recipients are Thomas Keogh, owner of Corp Solutions LLC, and Christopher Sharon, owner of Adaptive Training and Consulting Services LLC. These awards are a tribute to their commitment to business development and the community where they reside and serve.

 

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Brian Baker Presents at VBIA Conference

Brian Baker, Executive Director for Entrepreneurship and Vice President of the Virginia Business Incubation Association, presented at the VBIA Annual Conference on October 23 in Charlottesville.  He was invited to speak on the programs and economic benefits of the University of Mary Washington Office of Entrepreneurship.  Those programs include the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Center where the La Ceiba and Esfuerzo de Amor programs are housed, the emerging “Incubation Corridor” in collaboration with George Mason University, Rural Business Development in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, and collaboration with faculty and students. In 2012, 38 students have been involved in applied skills projects at the Office of Entrepreneurship. Notable faculty collaborations include a business analytics project featuring Dr. Christopher Garcia and Dr. Gail Brooks of the College of Business, a master’s level analysis engagement featuring Dr. Louis Martinette of the College of Business, and the La Ceiba and Esfuerzo de Amor programs featuring Dr. Shawn Humphrey of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2011 the SBDC was involved in over 425 business projects that yielded 174 new jobs, 394 retained jobs, 51 new business openings, over $5.9 million in increased sales, and over $13 million in new capital investment.

The Office of Entrepreneurship is a division of the University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development and hosts the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Center, the Engagement Council, and the Virginia Business Incubation Association.

Brian Baker Speaks at IEDC Annual Conference

Brian Baker, Executive Director for Entrepreneurship at the University of Mary Washington presented at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference in Houston, Texas on October 1.  His topic covered approaches for business assistance employed at the UMW Office of Entrepreneurship.  Following the presentation, Baker led a discussion titled “Empowering Entrepreneurs.”  The group discussion enabled colleagues in economic development to explore best practices on approaches to encouraging innovation, small company incubation, support services for business owners, and financing.

The UMW Office of Entrepreneurship is a division of the Center for Economic Development and hosts the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Program, the Engagement Council, and the Virginia Business Incubation Association.