“Cities are built around names of entrepreneurial leaders.”–Tom McDonnell, Kauffman Foundation
I’ve been reading about some of the great global opportunities in the BRIC countries and the “new Rockefellers and J.P. Morgans” being created as these countries cross the rocky bridge to become more developed. The values of those leaders will determine much about the futures of their countries. In fact, most communities can trace their current economic base back to a small group of entrepreneurs, inventors or artists.
Even communities that came about because of a driving physical asset (rivers, ports, rail lines or interstate highways) owe their economy to the fortune seekers and risk takers who seized upon those opportunities to build something. In 2012, the Columbus Region celebrated its 200th anniversary as “start-up” community created to serve as Ohio’s capital. More recently, our economic base has evolved because of the founding of great companies like Limited Brands, Wendy’s, Nationwide, Cardinal Health, DSW and more.
Fortunately for the Columbus Region, we’ve had leaders who sought their fortune and invested equally in the future of our area and Ohio. It’s a learned skill – how to engage, give back, build – without losing focus on the evolution of your business, while also allowing the community to embrace your vision and add to it through public investment.
When I read about business leaders in Brazil, Russia, India, China and even Africa, I worry that much of the ingenuity of those entrepreneurs is being stifled, and that they are forced to invest abroad to protect what they have earned. We need these markets to develop; to build a middle class that can buy goods and contribute to the global economy.
I believe that our communities represent the sum of what our entrepreneurs create. Which entrepreneurs have left their stamp on your community? Who will take on this tradition in your community and how are you fostering it?
One Columbus Update
- If you have not already, check out this short NPR segment about Honda’s substantial investment into the Columbus Region and Ohio. We are very proud to call Honda one of the most important companies in our region.
- Representatives from Pickerington and Union County traveled with our team to meet companies in California last week.
- One Columbus is in Germany this week at the Hannover Trade Fair to meet a series of innovative, growing manufacturing companies considering expansion into the United States.
- Back home in the Region, the team is hosting clients from two countries this week.
- The next One Columbus Investor Update will take place May 1 at Hollywood Casino. Please RSVP to Stephanie Bosco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-225-6063 by April 26.