Economic Gardening

Economic Gardening® embraces strategies to grow existing second-stage businesses. It is an innovative entrepreneur-centered economic growth strategy that offers balance to the traditional economic practice of business recruitment, often referred to as “economic hunting.”It was pioneered by Chris Gibbons in 1989 in the city of Littleton, Colo., a community that in the ensuing 15 years saw a 136 percent increase in new jobs. While it was introduced as a demonstration program to deal with the sudden erosion of economic conditions, it has emerged as a prototype for a rapidly expanding movement to generate truly sustainable economic growth for communities, regions and states.To learn more about economic gardening, view GrowFL Reports & Studies and visit the Edward Lowe Foundation website at

Meet Chris Gibbons

Gibbons-Headshot[1]Gibbons co-created Economic Gardening®, an entrepreneurial approach to economic development, which has won national awards from the International City Managers Association, the International Economic Developers Council and Harvard Innovations in Government. Gibbons has a total of 38 years experience in the economic development/community development field and leads the National Center for Economic Gardening.

Why Support Second-Stage Businesses?

Second-stage growth companies are powerhouses for job creation. Florida headquartered companies averaged more than 150,000 second-stage establishments. Second-stage businesses represent more than 2.6 million jobs – that’s nearly 30 percent of the jobs being created by 6 percent of the companies headquartered in Florida.  Source:, an online tool for analyzing business activity.

In the state of Florida, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving! With support from our local governments and industry partners, combined with the expertise offered from the GrowFL, the economic garden continues to grow.