The Pipeline of Entrepreneurs and Enterprises
Advantage Valley Entrepreneurial League System®
Entrepreneurial League System® of Central Louisiana
Urban Industry Initiative
South Africa Project
Press Coverage of the ELS

In 2001, Lichtenstein and Lyons first articulated the term and the concept of an Entrepreneurial Development System, which appeared in the article The Entrepreneurial Development System: Transforming business talent and community economies, published in Economic Development Quarterly (click hereThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it      to find a copy). 

An Entrepreneurial Development System is designed to be a farm system for developing entrepreneurs and building the next generation of companies. It is more than just a strategy; it is an actual operating system for creating as well as managing the social and organizational infrastructure necessary to develop entrepreneurs.

At its core, the Entrepreneurial Development System consists of three separate yet interlocking subsystems:

  • A subsystem for developing entrepreneurs,
  • A subsystem for organizing assistance providers, and
  • A subsystem of governance or leadership.

The goal of the first subsystem is to develop a diverse supply of entrepreneurs who are capable of building successful companies in sufficient numbers to create wealth for the entire economy. The goal of the second is to organize service providers in order to meet the needs entrepreneurs have for the right kind of help (i.e., technical and financial assistance) at the right time and at the right price. The goal of the governance subsystem is to manage the whole effectively, efficiently and equitably for the benefit of the entire community or region.

Over the last 10 years, we have developed and successfully implemented a trademarked and proprietary version of the Entrepreneurial Development approach called the Entrepreneurial League System® (ELS). To learn more about these specific projects and their impacts, click on one of the categories to the upper left on this page.

The Entrepreneurial Development System concept and article has influenced a number of efforts around the U.S. to apply these ideas. In 2004, with our permission, both the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and CfED (formerly known as the Corporation for Enterprise Development) used it as the inspiration for the $12 million grant program they initiated to fund six regional entrepreneurial development systems. Our Advantage Valley Entrepreneurial League System® was one of the six programs to receive $2 million.  

The Pipeline of Entrepreneurs and Enterprises provides the discipline and the tools to make an Entrepreneurial Development System practical, operational and grounded in the specific needs of the entrepreneurs of that community or region.

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