Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date



Stevenson Center, Entrepreneurship, Applied Political and Economic Development, Political Science


This study serves as a formative evaluation of the Bloomington-Normal-McLean County, IL region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, which the development thereof is a tactical strategy outlined in the recently created Bloomington-Normal economic development plan (also known as BN Advantage). An entrepreneurial ecosystem is a network comprising of entrepreneurs, supporting organizations and entities such as investors, governments, universities and various other organizations with a focus on economic development. Vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems strengthen local entrepreneurial capacity, which then spurs economic development through job creation and growth, economic diversity and increasing a region’s competitive advantage. The methodology of this study involved combining qualitative and quantitative data to best understand the strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats and overall vibrancy of the ecosystem. This study aims to provide the Bloomington-Normal-McLean Co., IL community with a snapshot of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and to offer evidence-based approaches which the community can use to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the future.