This handbook provides tools for supporting economic development of a whole local economy rather than any single enterprise. It includes case studies from different cultures, which identify critical success factors and presents tools for understanding how the local economy works. The intention is for the reader to seize opportunities for building a local economic base.
The tools presented for understanding and building local economies are applicable internationally and are useful in addressing the global Sustainable Development Goals. The handbook has been prepared to assist those implementing the New Urban Agenda, which contains important policy directions and targets for local economic development, particular focusing on communities that are relatively disadvantaged.
The aims of the handbook are:
• for community leaders, to provide guidance on practical tools and processes that can build the local economic base, with benefits flowing to the whole community
• for external agencies, to explain how investment can be made in areas that add measurable value to the economies of small, isolated communities and to the standard of living of the people of these communities
• for government decision makers, to provide a model against which the performance of government funded activities and interventions as well as regulatory practices in local economies can be measured and reported.
This handbook is not focused on maximising numbers of jobs or enterprise profits. It looks at local economies as a whole, with the intention of building local wealth, creating an environment for job creation and successful enterprise development into the future. This can draw on local resources as well as the economic component of all local activities (including local building work, housing and health service delivery for example). With the right strategies, it is possible to create circles of trade within even the most disadvantaged communities, and to add value to any resources available to local residents.