- Entrepreneurship + Innovation
Prior to the pandemic, Loudoun County’s entrepreneurial ecosystem grew faster than service providers were able to keep up with. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, the County significantly expanded its support for small businesses beyond the information communication technology sector. As the pandemic subsided, the County’s Economic Development Department looked to fill persistent gaps in the entrepreneurial support system, particularly for undersupported entrepreneurs and business owners.
Camoin Associates worked with the County to understand the gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and design a “Hub Model,” where the County’s Economic Development Department serves as an onramp to business resources to ensure all of the county’s entrepreneurs are introduced to programs, services, and resources customized to their individual needs — specifically women, minority, and rural founders.
Additionally, the industry opportunity analysis conducted by Camoin Associates identified several tech-related sectors that have the energy to drive entrepreneurial endeavors. Current and potential business owners in these sectors need traditional business services as well as services to accelerate firm growth. Therefore, a hybrid model that includes both incubation and acceleration programs and services was recommended.
The analysis was completed in May 2022. The County is currently taking initial steps to secure funding to launch the “hub” resource network as well as emerging technologies incubator/accelerator initiatives.