UM-Dearborn’s iLabs eCities recognizes 55 Michigan communities developing a positive entrepreneurial climate


DETROIT, October 19, 2010 – East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Jonesville, Livonia, Meridian Township, Tecumseh, and Wixom, have been identified as the top performing communities at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research (iLabs). 

In addition to performing well in the numerical portions of eCities 2010, the seven top performing communities are recognized for innovative collaborations and programs that aid entrepreneurial growth. These communities demonstrate that they understand what small businesses need to be successful by communicating with them and providing connections to broader resources and insight on trends. 

In addition, 48 other communities across the State that performed well in eCities 2010 have been identified as five and four star communities. 

Five-Star Communities

City of Ann Arbor

City of Auburn Hills

City of Chelsea

City of Coldwater

City of East Lansing

City of Farmington Hills

City of Frankenmuth

Village of Jonesville

City of Litchfield

City of Marquette

City of Marshall

Meridian Township

City of Midland

City of Northville

Northville Township

City of Novi

Village of Oxford

Pittsfield Township

City of Rochester

City of Rochester Hills

City of Royal Oak

Scio Township

City of Southfield

City of Sterling Heights

City of Tecumseh

City of Troy

City of Wixom

Ypsilanti Township

Four-Star Communities

Ada Township

Alpine Township

Cascade Township

City of Dearborn

City of Farmington

Flint Township

City of Grand Rapids

City of Hillsdale

Holland Township

City of Howell

Independence Township

City of Lansing

City of Livonia

City of Madison Heights

Milford Township

City of Monroe

Plymouth Township

City of Romulus

City of Saline

City of Sturgis

Superior Township

City of Taylor

Thomas Township

Traverse City

City of Westland

Waterford Township

West Bloomfield Township 

The eCities research surveyed over 100 communities in the State of Michigan who are home to 128,242 entrepreneurs who earned $3.4 billion in income in annual income. These communities also had $1.2 billion in commercial development last year and account for nearly half the state’s commercial property.

“We are pleased to have participation from so many communities throughout the state in eCities 2010,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs. “The focus of this project is assisting local communities by identifying best practices and methods that they can implement which will aid with job growth strategies, economic diversification, and development of entrepreneurs.” 

The communities will be honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn on Tuesday, Oct. 19 with Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, providing the keynote address at the event. 

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 30-item index to encourage entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation. 

About University of Michigan-Dearborn

Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future. 


Beth Marmarelli or 313-593-5542


Ken Kettenbeil or 313-593-5518