The GrowFL Economic Gardening Overview | Everything CEOs Want to Know

The GrowFL Story
What is Economic Gardening?
GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is driven by one goal – to cultivate second-stage growth companies across the state. Working with a group of statewide partners, we are committed to local delivery of services that help second‐stage and emerging second‐stage growth companies achieve their potential.

What is a Second-Stage Growth Company?

  • For-profit, privately-held company headquartered in Florida
  • Employ at least 10 but fewer than 100 employees
  • Between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue
  • Provide a product or products and/or services beyond local geographical markets

 As defined by the National Center for Economic Gardening. This does not reflect the specific program eligibility requirements.

Economic gardening is a philosophy that embraces strategies to grow existing
businesses in a community, region or state and is the basis for
the entrepreneurship programs at GrowFL.

Three basic elements of Economic Gardening:

  • Provide critical information needed by businesses to survive and thrive.
  • Develop and cultivate an infrastructure that goes beyond basic physical infrastructure and includes quality of life, a culture that embraces growth and change and access to intellectual resources, including qualified and talented employees.
  • Develop connections between businesses and the people and organizations that can help take them to the next level—business associations, universities, roundtable groups, service providers and more.

You Dreamt It… You Built It… Let’s Grow It.

Second-stage companies are the definition of economic growth and prosperity-they are responsible for creating 36.2% of all jobs nationwide.

Second-stage companies access to resource, analysts and tools typically only available and affordable to Fortune 500 companies. These high-powered assets are at your disposal to bring next level success.

GrowFL provides access to resources, analysts and tools typically only available and affordable to Fortune 500 companies. These high-powered assets are at your disposal to bring next level success.


Strategic Research and Marketing Support
We work with your team to explore new markets and grow within existing ones-increasing topline revenue.

CEO Roundtables
We provide access to insider knowledge by connecting you to your peers-other second-stage CEOs.

Events and Learning Opportunities
Innovative learning sessions and networking opportunities designed to explore challenges, trends and topics that are commonly faced by second-stage companies during growth including CEO Forums, Florida Companies to watch and monthly webinars.


Time, money and knowledge are important assets to you. GrowFL will maximize your ROI all the way through the program.

The program is designed to require very little of your time. The Strategic Research piece asks for one to two hours of your time for the “discovery call” and then spreads out over the course of approximately six months. You and 2 members of your team should expect to spend 1 business day per month (distributed) working with our team of experts.

The CEO Roundtables are a commitment of up to 3-4 hours each month. If a Roundtable is available in your area, you will find that the benefits greatly outweigh the time. You will meet with your peers to discuss best practices, issues that accompany growth and be in an environment that supports sharing knowledge.

The UCF Mentor Network is accessible to you through the duration of your engagement with GrowFL. Upon entry into the system, you are matched with someone in our wide network of experts that is best suited to just the right issues or challenges you face.

Does Your Business Qualify for GrowFL?

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be a second-stage growth company with intent and desire to grow.
  • Fit general definition of second-stage growth company-10-99 employees and $1 million to $50 million in revenue.
  • Be in a qualifying target industry.
  • Ability to hire 3 new people within 12 months of approval into the program.
  • CEO enters into agreement with the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida to establish the business’s commitment to participate in the GrowFL program.
  • Ability for CEO and 2 current employees to participate. Typically marketing and/or sales staff.

Target Industries:

  • NAICS 31-33 – Manufacturing
  • NAICS 52 - Finance and Insurance Services
  • NAICS 42 – Wholesale Trade
  • NAICS 51 – Information Industries
  • NAICS 54 – Professional. Scientific and Technical Services
  • NAICS 55 – Management Services
  • NAICS 56 – Administrative and Support Services

Program Outline:

  1. One year training and leadership development program for a minimum of 6 people, including CEO and 5 employees (2 existing and 3 new).
  2. In-depth research access, working with a team of specialists in Marketing Strategy, Internet Marketing Strategy and Business Development.
  3. On-site assistance for development and implementation of strategies.
  4. Virtual communications center to allow your entire team to access data and interact with the GrowFL specialists.
  5. Once a month CEO Roundtables to further develop strategies for growth (if available in your community).
  6. Attend other networking and learning events throughout your engagement.

Companies like yours are the backbone of our economy.
We know what it takes for you to grow.
Visit GrowFL.com or call 407-823-6384 to find out more


The mission of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council is to link Corporations and Government Agencies with Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to foster business development and expansion.

9499 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Suite 201
Miami, FL 33138
Phone: (305) 762-6151
Fax: (305) 762-6158
Email: info@sfmsdc.org

NMSDC Affiliate

FSMSDC is an Affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)