The Growth of the Local Entrepreneurial Community:
Why Strategic Business Partnerships Will Strengthen the Community
New Orleans, like most of the country, has shifted from large corporations to small entrepreneurial startups. New Orleans actually leads the United States by 56% in the number of startups-per-capita (Source: GNO Community Data Center), and the members of the Chamber reflect this statistic. As of May 2015, 92% of our members are small businesses and 66% of them have less than five employees. As a Chamber of Commerce, it is our duty to recognize areas of growth, realize our role in helping the business community reach its potential, and provide ideas and resources to take our community to the next level.
We realized this entrepreneurial growth in the city four years ago and as a result we formed a partnership with Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana. We saw them as a logical partner in our mission to strengthen our business community. Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana offers top-notch resources that include accelerator and mentorship programs, networking events, and lecture series. This worldwide organization has over 150 chapters in 48 countries, proving that they truly have a global presence. Throughout the years I have enjoyed working with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana’s senior leadership including Aaron Dirks, Chris Reed, Adam Bermudez, Todd Matherne, and Clayton White. They are a brain power and have advanced and grown the organization in a very short period of time. On September 18th, the Chamber, along with Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana, will host our annual Third Quarter Luncheon featuring keynote speaker, James Kane, author of The Loyalty Switch
and Virtually Loyal
. As a Chamber, we enjoy hosting events like this where we are able to partner with organizations that are economic drivers of the city.
Aside from our partnership with Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana, we also partner with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
, Good Work Network, LifeCity, StayLocal, and other organizations that promote local entrepreneurship and startups. After conducting member focus groups and performing intense market research, we realized how much of an impact our partnerships have on our members. As a Chamber, we have a variety of members from different industries and also serve a large pool of businesses. As a result, we understand the importance of hosting industry related events, partnering with industry and size specific organizations, and coming together to help the greater good.
It is our belief that strategic business partnerships will strengthen the overall business community. These partnerships will help sustain businesses and will help them grow at a faster rate. The local business community has established new areas of growth in advanced manufacturing, bioinnovation and health services, creative digital media, sustainable industries, transportation, trade and logistics, and overall entrepreneurship. These areas, commonly referred to in the Prosperity NOLA plan for economic growth, has been integrated into multiple organizations including the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. One of the ways that we have integrated it into our overall strategic plan is through our partnership with Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana. This partnership is one small way that we can make a big difference in the business community. I urge every organization to look for key partners in the community that can help further establish your association and help take your members to the next level.