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Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

The Voinovich School’s economic impact on the region is significant and growing. New companies are forming, established companies are expanding, jobs are being created and saved, and new sources of investment have blossomed. By leveraging partner investments with funds from the state and university, we have helped Ohio enterprises generate nearly $3 billion in economic activity since 2014. Examples of this work include:

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
    The Voinovich School SBDC was recognized as the top SBDC in a six-state region for its work with existing businesses and start-ups in 12 southeast Ohio counties. Experienced counselors provide a full-range of no-cost consulting services as well as workshops in a variety of topic areas. SBDC staff meets with businesses owners to customize their services to the needs of the business. Counselors can assist businesses secure capital, develop business plans and financial projections, identify market and growth strategies, and complete financial analysis to identify opportunities for improved profitability.
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
    Voinovich School PTAC works with businesses in 55 Ohio counties, assisting them to identify and pursue opportunities to contract with government agencies. For the fourth year in a row, this office has broken its own record, assisting Ohio firms to obtain the governmental awards worth over $896 million.
  • TechGROWTH Ohio works with high-potential technology businesses, providing intensive, customized operational assistance for enterprise growth and capital acquisition. TechGROWTH Ohio has generated more than $500 million in economic impact. Additionally, this initiative worked closely with Ohio University to establish two first-of-their-kind initiatives to assist researchers in commercializing and funding their technologies: iCorps @ Ohio and the Ohio Innovation Fund.
  • Center for Economic Development and Community Resilience
    Partnering with Ohio communities to leverage Ohio University resources in order to build a more vibrant economic future, the Center offers technical assistance, economic impact analysis, feasibility studies and strategic planning. It also houses programs and conducts work on projects that leverage the resources of Ohio University to support economic development in Appalachia Ohio.
  • EDA University Center
    Since 1996, Ohio University and Bowling Green State University have jointly served as a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center covering 59 rural Ohio counties, 32 in Appalachia and 27 in northwestern Ohio. The goal is to provide local economic development efforts access to economists and experienced economic development researchers who can assist with marketing and industry studies, competitor analysis, financial pro forma and modeling, cost-benefit analysis, and technology assessments. This initiative also partners with the Ohio Economic Development Association to offer the Ohio Economic Development Institute, Ohio’s only certification for economic developers, and offers an annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region conference to build a shared understanding of regional economic challenges and opportunities.  

Applied Learning

The School’s expertise in venture development also benefits Ohio University researchers and student innovators. For instance, the Center for Entrepreneurship, a nationally recognized award-winning program, was co-created by the Voinovich School and the College of Business to help students and faculty bring their business ideas to life. In addition, the Voinovich School regularly engages MPA students and Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars to work closely with faculty and professional staff on economic development projects and internships. Experiences vary, but opportunities include assisting with business or community consulting; conducting market and industry research; and developing public reports, presentations and infographics. 

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Reports and Publications

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  • Building Opportunities Beyond Coal Accelerating Transition (BOBCAT) Network Executive Summary

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  • Impact Analysis of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in Florida

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  • Measuring the Economic Impacts of Utility-Scale Solar in Ohio

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