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Grand Rapids Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Assessment

October 20, 2020

In Winter 2020, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation engaged Regionerate LLC to assess the Grand Rapids Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. The goal of the project was to better understand current assets in the startup and small business ownership community related to innovation, talent, place-building, access to capital, entrepreneurship education and training, and small business assistance.This report presents initial findings and recommendations designed to build capacity for entrepreneurs of all types and sizes with a special focus on increasing underrepresented minority business participation in the historically high-growth economy of Grand Rapids. In order to foster a strong entrepreneurial network and attract additional outside resources, Regionerate offers high-level findings and recommendations to guide WKKF and other investors in: (1) delivering programs that broadly serve the entire network; (2) piloting programs that fill demonstrated gaps in the ecosystem and ultimately spin into the network; and (3) funding or scaling established powerful programs to reach more entrepreneurs.Evaluation ObjectiveThe purpose of the evaluation is to provide an objective, third-party perspective on the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, including the current resource providers, resource connectivity, and gaps for stages of business development and growth. 

Economic Inclusion in Grand Rapids

April 1, 2020

This report presents an updated review of progress toward economic inclusion in the Grand Rapids, Mich.area. It summarizes the changes between data reported by Dr. Mark White of the Center for Regional Analysisat George Mason University and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness in Addressing Economic Inclusion in Grand Rapids (2016) and the most recently available data obtained from public sources — primarily comparing data from 2014 to 2018. Data are displayed in various geographic groupings and disaggregated by demographic characteristics for comparison. This report, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), is intended to aid ongoing strategy development for promoting inclusive growth in the Grand Rapids area.

Economic Inclusion in Grand Rapids Data Update - Executive Summary

April 1, 2020

This report presents an updated review of progress toward economic inclusion in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. It summarizes the changes between data reported by Dr. Mark White of the Center for Regional Analysisat George Mason University and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness in Addressing EconomicInclusion in Grand Rapids (2016) and the most recently available data obtained from public sources — primarily comparing data from 2014 to 2018. Data are displayed in various geographic groupings and disaggregated by demographic characteristics for comparison. This report, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), is intended to aid ongoing strategy development for promoting inclusive growth in the Grand Rapids area.

Challenge Scholars 2015-2016 Update Report

October 17, 2016

This year we are pleased to present specific data for each Challenge Scholars class cohort. Thanks to a data-sharing agreement with Grand Rapids Public Schools, we can now show you how Challenge Scholars students are doing relative to the requirements for the four-year scholarship.

Connecting the Dots: Data Use in Afterschool Systems

May 31, 2016

Afterschool programs are seen as a way to keep low-income children safe and to foster the skills needed to succeed in school and life. Many cities are creating afterschool systems to ensure that such programs are high-quality and widely available. One way to do so is to ensure afterschool systems develop and maintain a data system.This interim report presents early findings from a study of how afterschool systems build their capacity to understand and improve their practices through their data systems. It examines afterschool data systems in nine cities that are part of The Wallace Foundation's Next Generation Afterschool System-Building initiative, a multi-year effort to strengthen systems that support access to and participation in high-quality afterschool programs for low-income youth. The cities are Baltimore, Md., Denver, Colo., Fort Worth, Texas, Grand Rapids, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla.,Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., Philadelphia, Pa., and Saint Paul, Minn.To date, research on data use in afterschool systems has focused more on the implementation of technology than on what it takes to develop and sustain effective data use. This study found that the factors that either enabled or hampered the use of data in afterschool systems—such as norms and routines, partner relationships, leadership and coordination, and technical knowledge—had as much to do with the people and process components of the systems as with the technology.Strategies that appear to contribute to success include:    Starting small. A number of cities intentionally started with a limited set of goals for data collection and use, and/or a limited set of providers piloting a new data system, with plans to scale up gradually.    Ongoing training. Stakeholders learned that high staff turnover required ongoing introductory trainings to help new hires use management information systems and data. Providing coaching and developing manuals also helped to mitigate the effects of turnover and to further the development of more experienced and engaged staff.    Outside help. Systems varied in how they used the expertise of outside research partners. Some cities identified a research partner who participated in all phases of the development of their data systems. Others used the relationship primarily to help analyze and report data collected by providers. Still others did not engage external research partner, but identified internal staff to support the system. In any of these scenarios, dedicated staffers with skills in data analytics were key.

Grand Rapids and West Central Michigan: Pursuing Health Care Value through Regional Planning, Cooperation, and Investment

April 17, 2014

The region of West Central Michigan encompassing Grand Rapids and surrounding communities ranks in the top quartile among 306 U.S. regions evaluated by The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on Local Health System Performance, 2012, performing especially well on measures of prevention and treatment quality, avoidable hospital use, and costs of care. This relatively higher performance may stem from the area's conservative medical practice style and local stakeholders' stewardship of community health and health care, as illustrated by a long history of regional planning and accountability for promoting the efficient use of resources. Complementary efforts and incentives to improve quality of care, community outreach programs, and a commitment to strengthening the safety net also may influence regional performance. However, more recently, rising costs and increasingly competitive market dynamics appear to be challenging the social contract that has long guided community cooperation.

Quality Now! Results of National Conversations on Education and Race

October 27, 2000

"Quality Now! Results of National Conversations on Education and Race" chronicles the experiences of eight communities that convened conversations about education and race involving nearly 1000 participants in more than 60 public forums across the country. "Quality Now!" is a set of strategies and hands-on tools intended to encourage and assist communities interested in holding their own conversations on education and race. By sharing the challenges, lessons learned, and outcomes from the eight initial sites, PEN and Public Agenda hope to amplify and sustain an important dialogue on the critical -- but often hidden -- intersection of education and race. The eight local education funds that sponsored events and forums included:Fund for Educational Excellence - Baltimore, MDForward in the Fifth - Berea, KYEducation Fund for Greater Buffalo - Buffalo, NYPublic Education and Business Coalition - Denver, COPartners in Public Education - Grand Rapids, MIHattiesburg Area Education Foundation - Hattiesburg, MSMarcus A. Foster Educational Institute - Oakland, CAPaterson Education Foundation - Paterson, NJThe efforts in these eight communities generated serious discussion among residents about what kind of communities they would like to inhabit, what kind of education they feel their children need, and what changes in the status quo they will support.

Proceedings of Public Conversations: The Roles, Structures, and Functions of Dialogue and Trusteeship in Public School Governance

January 1, 2000

Includes "The School Board and the Community: Forging a Stronger Partnership" (Atlanta, Georgia - October, 1995), and "Dialogue and Trusteeship in Public School Governance" (Grand Rapids, Michigan - April 18, 1996). Part of the Public Education Network School Board Leadership/Public Engagement Initiative.