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Posted By Cindy Tauscher, Monday, February 24, 2014

Conducting an Ecosystem Mapping & DACUM

Northeast State Community College is participating in the NACCE - Sam’s Club Shared Vision for Small Business 2014 Cohort. Our goal is to aid in the success of small businesses by providing training and related services appropriate to the after start-up stage. Our first two steps have been to determine what training and support services are available in the five county region that Northeast State serves and what training and services are needed by owners at this stage their business development.

In order to determine the training and support services that are available, we are developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem map. The map shows the institutions and organizations that are supporting the entrepreneurial network in the region. It literally is the glue that binds all of the entities together. The steps in creating the ecosystem begin with meeting with the entities in the area to learn what they are doing. The meetings are centered on introductions of each other and gathering a construct of information. The geographical places are put on a map. We are using Google Earth at this time. As a person selects an entity, the website pops-up so a person can learn more about the organization or agency from the website. The development of an ecosystem is an on-going process.

The second endeavor is to conduct a DACUM (Developing A CUrriculuM) to learn the training and services that are needed at this stage and going forward. A DACUM is a guided group process with experts in the field being the panelists. We had five entrepreneurs that had owned their own business for a varying amount of time. They completed the DACUM in two evenings. They identified 7 major duties and associated tasks and several skills and knowledge areas.

The next step is two-fold. The first is to take the DACUM material and develop a needs assessment. The second is to plan the first training session based on one of the duties that was revealed through the process. The resulting needs analysis can provide guidance for future entrepreneurs. It allows for training to be conducted on a timely basis, and it aids in the creation of entrepreneur cohorts.

This past week, we presented process of conducting an ecosystem mapping and DACUM at the NACCE – New River Summit in Ghent, West Virginia. Have you conducted an ecosystem mapping and DACUM in your community? If not, I’ve attached the PowerPoint of our Summit presentation so that you can begin this critical information-gathering work in your region.

Cynthia Tauscher has been with Northeast State Community College for over twenty years. Her previous career experience was in manufacturing. Prior to her becoming Coordinator of Business Related Workforce Development, her main emphasis at Northeast State was in leadership training having trained over 700 regional supervisory personnel from industry in an intensive 84 hour class. Her emphasis areas now include continuing education in entrepreneurism and health-related professions. Cindy is pursuing her DBA.

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