By Penny Taylor, Collier County Commission District 4
It is not often, in the history of a community that private citizens join with government to lay the foundation for profound change.
That is what happened in 2014 when the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce brought Market Street Services, a highly respected company providing community, workforce and economic development strategic planning services to Collier County. The steering committee — 50 plus folks strong — the Board of County Commissioners and the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce worked with Market Street to create a report on the economic future of Collier County. Market Street’s task was to provide an assessment of our competitiveness for economic growth and diversity.
One of the strategic recommendations in the report is to expand the entrepreneurial capacity of Collier County. In response, the Naples Accelerator (accelerator) and the Immokalee Incubator (incubator) were created, and managed by, Economic Incubators, Inc. (EII). The County funded both. The Board of EII was composed of highly respected and influential business leaders who understood the importance of entrepreneurial activity and took the risk and the time to bring this key economic element to Collier County.
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