The Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA), Competitive Wisconsin, Inc., Wisconsin Counties Association and the research organization Wisconsin Economic Development Institute (WEDI) recently released the results from a comprehensive economic development study they sponsored. The goal of the collaborative study was to build upon Wisconsin’s foundation and put the state in a competitive position in the global marketplace.
The non-partisan consulting firms, Deloitte Consulting and Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) Consulting were selected as the study team.
New game plan initiatives were established, keeping these goals in mind:
Wisconsin will rank among the Top 10 states for starting a business by 2016.
According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, Wisconsin’s current rank is #28.
Wisconsin will rank among the Top 10 states for expanding a business by 2016.
According to CNBC’s May 2010 Rankings, Wisconsin is #29.
As a result of the comprehensive research, nine recommendations were compiled:
1. Restructure the Department of Commerce into a new quasi-public entity that would develop, deliver and oversee Wisconsin’s targeted economic development strategy.
2. Reposition Wisconsin‘s brand as possessing a deep talent pool, a culture of innovation and a pro-business climate.
3. Align statewide economic development strategies on improving and sustaining Wisconsin’s economic health.
4. Improve Wisconsin’s business retention efforts.
5. Create a new entity called Wisconsin Pioneers. This non-profit organization will focus its efforts on investments in and the acceleration of early-stage / second-stage, high-growth companies.
6. Reinvigorate Wisconsin’s business attraction capabilities.
7. Deploy a statewide “Shovel-Ready” sites program with expedited permitting procedures.
8. Implement new incentives geared toward capital-intensive and start up projects while launching aggressive, value-added programs.
9. Apply enhanced technology applications to implement Wisconsin’s economic development strategy.