The Triad – and Greensboro and Guilford County – have been stuck in neutral for two decades.
If you look at economic statistics, there are roughly the same number of jobs in this area as there were at the turn of the century, even though we have thousands more people living here.
So what’s the answer? A man who has created a lot of jobs with his real estate and business development says it’s laying right in front of us.
“We’ve got to celebrate entrepreneurship in Greensboro. That’s where our growth will come from,” said Marty Kotis, the CEO and owner of Kotis Holdings.
Those charged with that say we’re finally getting there.
”The Triad has been picked out – particularly Greensboro – as one of the best places to move or live for entrepreneurship,” said Diane Welsh, of UNC-Greensboro.
And she says much of that comes from the support the entire Triad has for business startups now, something she says wasn’t here a decade ago. Welsh can speak directly for UNCG’s role in that.
“We have 50 courses in 27 different departments blended with entrepreneurship. So, a student can get an entrepreneurship minor across campus – any major they have,” said Welsh, about UNCG’s plethora of courses – more than any school in the UNC system.
And this is not just for people who want to start businesses, it’s also for any executive or even, “team player,” says Welsh, when she talks about some of the common myths about business development.
“Like (Facebook founder) Mark Zuckerberg – he did it himself. When you look at it, he really didn’t. Most entrepreneurs who are successful do things on teams,” said Welsh; and businesses are looking for entrepreneurial minds to hire for their team.
It took several decades for our former core industries (textiles, tobacco, furniture) to decline. It took another decade to get the current support for entrepreneurs in place. It will continue to take time to rebuild.
“Building businesses and helping entrepreneurs start businesses is a long road and we’ve got to be patient,” said the Greensboro Chamber’s LuAnne Flanders-Stec.
See what else these business leaders had to say in this edition of the Buckley Report.