Economic development agencies (EDAs) play a crucial role in supporting a state, city, or region with its economic development policies. The goal of an EDA is to ensure the economic growth of a geographical area.
In this article, NFI, the economic development agency of northern France, shares
What are economic development agencies?
EDAs are agencies that serve different geographical regions with the primary purpose of promoting and supporting economic development and growth. While the work of EDAs is complex, at their core, they support the economic growth of an area by providing encouragement to new businesses of all sizes.
How does an economic development agency help businesses
EDAs help businesses in the following ways:
1. They act as accelerators and incubators
Business accelerators and incubators are necessary for new businesses to find a firm footing. Accelerators typically focus on high-tech startups and well-known accelerators such as Y Combinator and Plug and Play have helped startups to make their corporate introductions. They have also brought in venture capital for them. EDAs also act as incubators, i.e. helping new businesses with physical locations and shared resources such as internet, telephone, and office equipment.
2. They help entrepreneurs through the bureaucracy
For entrepreneurs, setting up a business isn’t just about accessing finance – there’s a lot of bureaucracy involved as well. Entrepreneurs, especially those who are setting up a business in a new area, may get overwhelmed in meeting government requirements. Additionally, it may be a costly process as well, not to mention time-consuming. This is where EDAs can come in and help entrepreneurs in the learning the rules and regulations.
3. They can provide business education to entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur with a great business idea isn’t necessarily someone who will go on to become a successful entrepreneur. To be successful in the long run, an entrepreneur has to learn how to do business, which is where business education comes into the picture. From the fundamentals of human resources to accounting to law and beyond, EDAs can connect entrepreneurs to organizations that train entrepreneurs to become businessmen.
4. They present information that’s convenient to access for entrepreneurs
These days, everyone’s turning online for information, and entrepreneurs are no different. It’s up to the EDAs to ensure that the information that entrepreneurs are interested in is presented neatly on the internet. This prevents the entrepreneurs from having to run from pillar to post for information that may help them in setting up their businesses.
Why should you get in touch with an economic development agency?
If you want to set up a business of your own, you should take all the help you can get during the initial stages. That’s why you should reach out to an EDA and ask it to provide its assistance to you, not just in terms of information, but also to help you access financing.
EDA-supported businesses tend to build on a solid foundation, which helps them to achieve business goals both in the short and the long term.