Pollinator Businesses

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Michael Shuman:

"In nature, pollinators like bees take the pollens from one plant and spread them around to others, creating a fertile ecosystem for other plants and animals. No higher authority cuts the bees a paycheck to pollinate—they do this naturally. So a pollinator enterprise is, in my view, an economic development program that shares and spreads the best of what local businesses offer, creating a fertile entrepreneurial ecosystem. And importantly, like bees, they do this naturally, as a self-finance business, without requiring subsidies from foundations or government agencies."


5 Kinds of Pollinator Businesses:

"Local economic development, according to Shuman, encompasses five functions, which are easy to remember with five P words: planning, people, partnerships, purchasing, and purse.


– identifying the best opportunities for creating new local business or expanding existing ones, such as identifying areas to replace imports with local goods.

Pollinator example: The Main Street Genome Project [1]


– training and supporting entrepreneurs who are leading these leak-plugging businesses.

Pollinator example: Fledge, a Seattle-based incubator [2]


– groups of local businesses that are more competitive as a team than they would be operating alone.

Pollinator example: Tucson Originals [3]


– encouraging consumers, businesses, and government agencies to buy more local goods and services, more of the time.

Pollinator example: Supportland (recently rebranded as Placemaker). [4]


– channeling local savings, whether they are in banks or pension funds, into promising local businesses.

Pollinator example: Credibles [5] ."