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Community economic development (CED) is a process that aims to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for people in a particular community or region. At its core, CED is about creating an environment that supports the growth of local businesses and entrepreneurs, and that provides opportunities for residents to build wealth and participate in the economy.

The classic models of economic development are insufficient for meeting the needs of everyday people and their communities. For too long, economic development has overlooked the entrepreneurial ecosystem necessary for community enterprise to thrive and “scale local” in a global economy. To achieve this, we have developed a new CED programming that brings together our specialty programs across the state, and centers something most ideas of “economic development” lack: community.

How do we do community economic development?

Our new Community Economic Development (CED) programming is an umbrella of our specialty programs across several domains. Directed by Cooperative Extension Professor Keith Taylor in collaboration with our UCCE County Advisors, we coordinate UCANR’s CED education and research programming from local, regional, state, national, and international levels.

Our “Scaling Local” approach is intended to engage with economic development professionals, policymakers, public entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, and alternative enterprise. We do this through our civic partnerships under CA FWD’s California Stewardship Network, an alliance of regional leaders who are committed to improving government and creating inclusive, sustainable growth for all. Our engagement seeks to educate and empower our stakeholders through:

  • Demystifying (via case studies of success in other regions).
  • Providing “institutional” literacy in governance, finance, and scale strategies.
  • Empowering actors with concrete strategies and connections to key actors in these arenas.
  • Linking government, non-profits and private entrepreneurs to one another.

Finally, we have a special focus on working landscapes, which includes agriculture, forestry, and other natural resources. We believe that these industries have tremendous potential to drive economic growth and provide opportunities for local residents to build wealth and participate in the economy. By working closely with our partners in these sectors, we aim to support the growth of local businesses and entrepreneurs, and to create an environment that supports sustainable economic development.

Learn More:

We will launch this series via

  • Webinars
  • Social media platforms
  • In-person workshops, facilitations, and trainings.

Learn more about these subjects through our mailing list!