By Karin Connelly, Fresh Water Cleveland
Dec. 8, 2014
When JumpStart was created in 2003, it was formed to launch startups and give them the resources they need to get off the ground and generate new jobs. Twelve years later, as Northeast Ohio civic, business and philanthropic leaders look at the region’s economic development needs, JumpStart is seeking to help another type of small business: the “scale-up,” or small businesses that have stalled yet have opportunities for growth.
“Scale-ups are companies that have been in business for at least three years but can be 100 years old,” explains JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “It’s a company where they are in business, they have 10 to 100 employees and typically have more than $1 million in revenue, but it’s stuck. They see the potential for growth, but they are not able to solve the problems without assistance.
After researching scale-up programs nationwide through its partnership with President Obama’s Start Up America initiative and as an outcome of the Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy, JumpStart is now launching a Scaleup Pilot program to look into ways to help struggling small businesses – in any industry.
Why is this a key industry sector? These are the companies that have the most potential for job creation, Leach stresses, but fall in the gap of being too big for startup funding and too small to scale the company up on their own.
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