2009 PROJECTS
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Saskia Benjamin, Jerei Cerere, Miguel Granier, Li Tang
  Cultural adaptation is a term that elicits numerous, nuanced definitions. For the purpose of this report, cultural adaptation has been defined in terms of race and ethnicity as well as arts and culture. So culturally adaptive communities are ones that have either embraced their changing population to capitalize on cultural assets, or are communities that have utilized the arts and culture as an economic development tool. These scenarios are not mutually exclusive. Ultimately, the goal of a culturally adaptive community is the betterment of the community and its inhabitants.
   This report introduces the concept of the culturally adaptive community, provides the rationale for this fundamental concept in economic development, and introduces the reader to a variety of communities and locales utilizing this new tool.

Mark Farmer, Sharon Hollis, John Kim, Jon Trementozzi
  This report examines ¡°eco-friendliness¡± as an organizing theme for local economic development. In the process, a series of questions are addressed. First, what is an ¡°eco-friendly community¡± and what are its characteristics? Second, what issues of society, economy, and development do eco-friendly communities address? And finally, what expectations for improving local economic development planning and outcomes are associated with ecofriendly communities?
Becca Arce, Susan Cohn, Erin Lamos, Meredith Roark
  Knowledge-based communities are structured around a region¡¯s existing and potential human capital. They arise not only from early learning programs and workforce development initiatives, but also from the work of secondary and college-level education to create involved citizens. Each level of education has unique challenges, but each level also has unique contributions to make to the development of a community¡¯s knowledge base. Growth of the knowledge base translates into economic vitality and an increase in the general well-being of the community. Just as communities need a strong knowledge base to succeed in today¡¯s economy, they need a strong knowledge base to continue thriving in the future.
Ellen Anderson, Jason Chernock, Melissa Mailoux
  Although the notion of entrepreneurship is widely known, the successes enjoyed by entrepreneurs seem uncommon or haphazard because most small businesses do, in fact, fail. According to the United States Small Business Administration, 44 percent of small businesses fail in the first four years. This makes it difficult to imagine a community with an entire network of successful entrepreneurs. Despite this, entrepreneurship and small-business development is a viable component of any local economic development strategy because, after all, some entrepreneurs succeed and they create jobs.
   Communities must create an atmosphere in which entrepreneurship can thrive. How a community fosters entrepreneurship and responds to the needs of local entrepreneurs are contributing factors of a start-up business¡¯ success or failure. Entrepreneurial communities are towns that have found successful and sustainable strategies for cultivating and supporting local entrepreneurs.