How to Make Your Community's Economy Sizzle

A Handbook for Reshaping Your Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Creating Jobs in the Process

This book will help you reshape your community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Author Jim Schell, an entrepreneur himself, covers how to build an environment for entrepreneurs to succeed and create jobs. You’ll learn how to find the right champion to lead the reshaping process and the six key elements of every successful ecosystem.
92 pages. ©2017.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted February 15, 2021


meh- information felt outdated and questionable.


Review posted February 17, 2020


I found this book extremely helpful in not only educating myself, but also developing a strong message to combat the tendency to try to attract large (often lower-wage) employers instead of investing in local entrepreneurs!


Review posted January 20, 2020


Interesting distinction between traditional business sector and new economy, but overall I felt this handbook would be more valuable for towns larger than most of those in southern Oregon and Siskiyou County who are largely at a stage of economic development where they struggle to build sufficient traditional businesses to serve their residents and visitors.

sam goldstein

Review posted October 14, 2019


Simple and easy read. Not fluffy and folks who profess to know often use buzz words and emotionally triggering words to promote an ideology. None of that here. Good summary of the specific community of Bend’s environment. I think a little more info on the transitional phase would be helpful for the viewer to relate, especially for smaller communities that will hope to recruit and support businesses and need some entrepreneurial infrastructure just to start a transition. I feel that will be an important target audience in Oregon. I do like action steps in chapter 13.


Review posted July 25, 2019


This Book was very interesting when discuss the actual development of the economic development organization, how to find the correct people to build the organization and examples of how to implement your goals. I got a little tired when discussing the various types of implementation groups, but appreciate the various expertise.


Review posted April 21, 2019


This book provided a model for creating an environment to help entreprenuers succeed in the community. Through strong network connections-learning tools including peer and clusters as well as valuable resources shared for education, mentoring, and media options. It's a good resource handbook.

Karen Wells

Review posted March 27, 2019


Read it from the first page to the last. Even though we are much smaller than Bend, there are things in the book we need to do. I have passed it on to our Chamber President. Looking forward to what she says.


Review posted January 31, 2019


An excellent read that puts into context of "making awesome happen". I've heard people say that Bend, OR was the greatest 20-year-overnight-success story, this book tells that story. With any luck, you can take what you learn here to your community.

Review posted August 16, 2018


I truly enjoyed this book! It is a great handbook that is an easy read, about Jim's history of development in Bend, OR. but more importantly, the components of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I recommend this book especially for Chamber of Commerces in smaller towns! There are many key "nuggets" throughout the book that made me think, "A-ha." Chapter 8 includes resources that could help you as an entrepreneur!


Review posted July 23, 2018


This is an excellent quick read on what it takes to develop a community's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Covering several aspects of business ranging from education to marketing, the author conveys in simple language the strategies to inspire entrepreneurs at the local level. This 92-page book is packed with good information.


Review posted May 6, 2018


Not a casual read, this book informs the reader to organize, organize and organize. Our community is much smaller than Bend, OR so we won't have as much talent to draw on as he recommends however we will utilize the addresses found in the book.