Entrepreneurial spirit is booming in North Carolina. In the last two years alone, a record-breaking number of businesses have been established in the state. To support the long-term success of entrepreneurial ventures, North Carolina’s economic gardening program provides second-stage growth companies with sophisticated research tools and economic analysis. The program, sponsored by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) in partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG), runs for 4 weeks and is offered at no cost to eligible companies.

Program benefits include:

  • Access to market research, industry trend reports, and competitive intelligence.
  • GIS computer maps to locate prospective customers, competitors, and potential markets.
  • Search-engine optimization, web marketing, and social media strategy.
  • Frameworks for analyzing growth strategies, market dynamics and emerging trends, and opportunities
    for innovation.


The program process is quick, easy, and comprehensive and includes:

  • An initial discovery call begins the economic gardening engagement.
  • The participating company’s CEO must commit to 8-12 hours over the 4-week duration of the program with the NCEG research team.
  • NCEG’s team of specialists will provide 36 hours of professional research and consulting at no cost to the company.


To be eligible to participate, a business must:

  • Be a private, for-profit, North Carolina-based company. Unfortunately, retail, restaurants, and local
    professional services providers (e.g., accounting, legal, staffing firms) do not qualify.
  • Have been in operation for at least 2 years.
  • Employ 10 – 99 employees. *
  • Have annual sales between $1 and $50 million. *
  • Show proof of product, proof of market, and proof of management skills.
  • Show intent to grow.

*Rural companies, defined as located in either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, or a rural census tract in a Tier 3 county, need at least 6 employees and can have a minimum of $650,000 in sales


If your business is interested in the economic gardening program, contact the EDPNC existing industry expansions manager serving your region.