are the Foundation for
Quint Studer is in the business of helping communities revitalize themselves. In fact, another one of his books—Building a Vibrant Community: How Citizen-Powered Change is Reshaping America—provides a blueprint for community leaders and shares the story of Pensacola, Florida’s revitalization. (Visit www.vibrantcommunityblueprint.com to learn more.)
In the last four of five years, Pensacola has improved its assessed property value over 30 percent, has gotten investments in the downtown community up 60 percent, and has seen the population grow by 5.4 percent after years of decline. And a big part of its success has to do with its thriving and galvanized small business community and its well-trained business leaders.
Business owners are passionate about what they do; however, the skills needed to sustain a business are often not there. That’s why Studer Community Institute (SCI) offers “roundtables” and monthly training and development sessions to Pensacola business owners. Live workshops, webinars, online content, and toolkits help them increase productivity, reduce turnover, promote business growth and job creation, and improve service. SCI also sponsors EntreCon, an annual conference focused on entrepreneurship and continued learning.
Training small business owners in the fundamentals of great leadership just makes sense for communities looking to become more vibrant. Successful business owners create jobs. They pay rent and taxes. They also give back to the community in other ways. Yet it’s estimated that 40 percent of new businesses fail in their first year and that 80 percent don’t make it five years. Strong, vibrant communities make it easy for new businesses to get started AND help keep existing ones healthy long term. They know transferring vital knowledge and experience to entrepreneurs is critical to everyone’s success.