Economic development is a significant concern, both nationally and on the local level. The United States' business environment has changed from one focused on manufacturing, to a knowledge-based environment. Thus Michigan's economic development strategies must change as well. This study looks at Michigan's economic development programs, specifically those established through Public Act 281 of 1986. This Act created SmartZone incubator programs throughout the state of Michigan, and it is these SmartZone incubator programs that are analyzed in this study. The study's purpose was to provide an assessment of these SmartZone incubators. The assessment included leadership styles and other descriptive characteristics of the SmartZone incubators as well as an examination of their performance, based on set criteria. The results of this study show that in Michigan, SmartZone incubator programs appear to be working, though since their establishment dates only back seven short years to 2000, the successes (or failures) of said programs are hard to assess so early on. Of the seven reporting SmartZone incubator programs, all report some level of job development, creating jobs regionally, nationally and internationally.
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