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Business Intelligence Team Drives Growth Through Data

Posted by on February 20, 2020 at 2:30 PM | 0 Comments

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By Ray York, Business Counselor for the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay

Sheboygan County, WI – A key mission of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) is to operate specialized services focused on entrepreneurs, second-stage firms, and mature industries.  The SCEDC has partnered with the Business Intelligence Team (BIT), which was developed by the Center for Business Intelligence (CBI) at the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship within the University of Wisconsin System.  The BIT provides second-stage companies, which are growth-oriented companies that have moved beyond the start-up phase, with an opportunity for data-driven growth in Sheboygan County. 

“We consistently see a strong entrepreneurship presence in Sheboygan County, ranking towards the top of many Small Business Development Center (SBDC) metrics,” stated Tara Carr, Director of the SBDC at UW-Green Bay. “The trend continued in 2019, with Sheboygan County accounting for 5% of Wisconsin business start-ups and 8.7% of the state’s capital formation.”  SBDC metrics are a great benchmark to measure the entrepreneurial spirit in our state.  Over the past five years, from 2015 through 2019, Sheboygan County ranked as #1 in Wisconsin with $47.2 million in capital formation, accounting for 11.5% of the total state. 

Even with these strong metrics, the road to owning and maintaining a small business is not easy; about 50% of small businesses leave the marketplace within their first five years, and within Sheboygan County, 30% of businesses are less than three years old.   Business close/start churn is an important indicator of continued growth, and in 2018, Sheboygan County had a 3.5% net increase in the number of businesses in operation.  These statistics indicate that small businesses need to see consistent diversified growth or eventually they will fail. 

Thanks to a grant by Associated Bank the SCEDC can continue the BIT Program in Sheboygan County, and we encourage our second-stage companies to consider this program. The BIT Program works directly with business owners, or executives, to addresses strategic growth challenges such as developing new markets, refining business models and finding valuable competitive intelligence.  To accomplish this, teams of highly skilled research specialists mine sophisticated databases and leverage several high-end tools related to market research, digital marketing, and geographic information systems. 

“We are fortunate to have great partners such as Associated Bank, CBI, and the SBDC,” said Gary Dulmes, Chair of the SCEDC.  “These partnerships are crucial to the services we provide our communities, and it is exciting to see the BIT connect with our growing companies.”

Why is the BIT programing important to Sheboygan County?  Between 2005 and 2018, second-stage companies represented about 18% of all Wisconsin businesses, but generated more than 37% of both jobs and sales according to data from YourEconomy.org.   The BIT Program is important for Wisconsin but even more vital for Sheboygan County, since we have a higher penetration of these growth-oriented companies, accounting for 27% of our businesses and 39% of our jobs.

Our growing companies have a positive influence on our local economy.  The SCEDC and the BIT are partnering to provide Sheboygan County second-stage companies with the opportunity to make an even bigger impact through data-driven decisions, while navigating the challenges associated with growth.  Opportunity is a landmark of economic success and when Sheboygan County works together, we drive more success in our communities!

For more information about the BIT Program in Sheboygan County please visit the SCEDC website, or please email at info@SheboyganCountyEDC.com, or call (920)452-2479.

For more information about the Business Intelligence Team (BIT), at the Center for Business Intelligence at the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship within the University of Wisconsin System, please follow link, or please email business@uwex.edu, or call (608)263-7794