What is Economic Development? – Overview

There are four parts to gaining a basic understanding of the term economic development, and this four-part series will assist with that. What does the term mean, what forces are at play with economic development, how did the profession begin, and what kinds of activities do economic professionals and organizations pursue? These are the fundamental questions we seek to answer with this series:

  1. Defintions of Economic Development – Our first article explores the three most commonly used meanings of the term Economic Development: (1) as a professional practice that can be learned and applied by individuals and organizations; (2) as the job-creation and investment projects businesses undertake; and (3) as the increases in quality of life that those projects create. Each definition is described and accompanied by video which illustrates each meaning in action.
  2. Laws of Economic Development – Economic development matters because it determines the amount of resources available to increase quality of life. The economic development profession maximizes the number of economic development projects that happen, and those are what cause the increases in quality of life. The three laws are (1) The Law of Resources, (2) The Law of Projects, and (3) The Law of Practice. The principles of each three laws are also listed.
  3. History & Reporting – The economic development profession has a long history nationally, in Ohio, and locally. This article briefly describes the profession’s origins and explores the central way to report on economic development activity – project reporting.
  4. Functional & Practice Areas – Finally, it’s time to dive deeper into the different areas of the profession. This article looks at the four functional areas (like a business): (1) Sales & Marketing; (2) Customer Service; (3) Research & Development; and (4) Management. It then places each of the 25 practice areas (like a law firm) each of those functional areas. Two examples of practice areas include Business Retention & Expansion. TSEP’s level of involvement with each area is also indicated.

Return to the TSEP Information Hub.