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 Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman
Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman | Show Photo

Innovation & Job News

Florida Offers Economic Gardening Certification

Krista Hakes of the Pasco Economic Development Council (Pasco EDC) is one of six people in Florida to complete the Economic Gardening Certification offered through GrowFL.
 
Economic Gardening is part of a larger movement that takes an entrepreneurial approach to economic development through a model created by Chris Gibbons of Littleton, CO. The goal of economic gardening is to create jobs and improve the economy at the local level.
 
“Economic gardening helps second-stage companies with the challenges they face,” says Tammie Nemecek of GrowFL, which is the state’s branch of the larger economic gardening movement.

The certification program that Hakes completed is part of the National Center for Economic Gardening at the Edward Lowe Foundation, which follows the Chris Gibbons model. The certification enables Hakes to launch and administer a successful economic gardening program in Pasco that will help local entrepreneurs and small companies to grow their businesses.   

“The certification process involves online courses and webinars,” says Jessica Nelson, operations manager of the National Center for Economic Gardening at the Edward Lowe Foundation. “Overall the certification takes three weeks to complete.”
 
In addition to Hakes, the five other individuals in Florida who have completed the program include Paul Mitchell of the Volusia County Economic Development Council, Chelsea Jones-Finely of the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, Debrah Forester of the Charlotte County Economic Development Council, Mandy Hines of DeSoto County and Kara Palmer of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee.
 
GrowFL has plans to certify more people in the future; those interested in becoming certified should contact Jessica Nelson at the National Center for Economic Gardening. Entrepreneurs seeking support for accelerating their business should contact their local economic development council or GrowFL.

Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Tammie Nemecek, GrowFL, and Jessica Nelson, National Center for Economic Gardening at the Edward Lowe Foundation
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