Marquette Recognized as 4-star community

The city of Marquette has racked up another award. For the third consecutive year, Marquette has been recognized for its work to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development. The designation comes from researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan–Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research.

Marquette was honored as a four–star community along with 44 others in Michigan. Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie were the only Upper Peninsula cities recognized. The eCities research surveyed more than 100 communities in the State of Michigan who are home to 36% of Michigan residents and 44% of its college graduates. These communities also had more than $1 billion in commercial construction last year and more than half of them share services with other communities.

‘We are pleased to have participation from so many communities throughout the state in eCities 2011,” said Tim Davis, the director of iLabs. “The focus of this project is assisting local communities by identifying best practices and methods that they can implement which will aid with job growth strategies, economic diversification, and development of entrepreneurs.”

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants as well as other public records to assemble a six–factor, 32–item index of entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation. To date, 138 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.