In June 2004, Cleveland State University (CSU) partnered with the City of Beachwood and the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce to open the Beachwood Business Development Center (BBDC). The BBDC focuses on attracting foreign companies to Northeast Ohio (NEO) and on helping local companies break into foreign markets.
The BBDC provides state-of-the-art office space coupled with an array of business support services and resources to accelerate the growth of start-ups and to help launch successful firms that will leave the center financially viable and freestanding. The BBDC utilizes CSU College of Business faculty and graduate assistants to provide global business market research, product development and access to a network of resources required for companies to enter the NEO market.
Although the BBDC is not limited to working with one particular region, the initial BBDC international attraction plan focused on Israel and concentrated on companies whose products included new and innovative technology, medical devices and auto parts. BBDC believes that these companies will benefit from a natural fit and synergy with Northeast Ohio. This effort has allowed the BBDC to direct its resources and efforts in a particular area and, consequently, with more efficient use of funds and limited resources.
The BBDC founding partners conducted one-on-one discussions with local business leaders, participated in regional business roundtable discussions regarding business attraction and retention needs, and sought direct input from the CSU International Business Advisory Board. Based on this input, the BBDC was established in an effort to leverage resources and build a capacity network to support international business activities in NEO.
Already, other cities in the NEO region are benchmarking this model to create similar international business attraction plans. CSU is currently working with two other municipalities to replicate this model and will continue to share the model with business, cities, chambers of commerce and other economic development agencies.
For more information:
To learn more about the BBDC model, please contact our Director of Outreach and Business Centers, Colette Taddy Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.875.9715 or visit the BBDC web site at http://beachwood.org/businessdevelopmentcenter.ashx.
The Executive Development Center
Monte Ahuja Hall, Rm. 327
1860 East 18th Street