Organising Local Economic Development

The Role of Development Agencies and Companies

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Development processes occur within a wider geographical area than local government, and in some cases encompass a broader scope than provincial or national governments. Thus substantial inter-governmental co-operation and public-private partnership are needed. This book identifies how development agencies and companies work, what they do and what constitutes success and value added. It explores international practices in a variety of locations and contexts, and defines both the success factors and the challenges associated with economic development agencies and companies.



Barcelona Activa

Barcelona Activa is the local development agency (DA) of Barcelona City Council and was created in 1986. Initially conceived as a business incubator with 14 projects installed, the agency is now the main actor in developing entrepreneurial activity, innovation, professional and career development and employment creation within Barcelona. Each year Barcelona Activa coaches more than 1 400 new business start ups, and more than 350 existing companies are given further consolidation and growth support (European Commission, 2006). The agency is a municipal limited company; a private company, funded and 100% owned by Barcelona City Council.


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