Accelerate UP was launched in 2013 in Marquette County where local economies have been in decline after the traditional mining and logging industries began winding down. Eagle Mine was dedicated to expanding business growth outside of the mine and worked with the community to establish Accelerate UP. The program’s purpose is to promote economic and community vitality by capturing the passion and interest of local entrepreneurs using an innovative grassroots approach to economic development, Enterprise Facilitation™, developed by economist, Dr. Ernesto Sirolli.
Accelerate UP is controlled and managed at the grassroots level by a local Management Board derived from our Resource Team of over seventy civic leaders, community professionals, and economic development practitioners. In the summer of 2012, the Accelerate UP entered into a contract with the Sirolli Institute as a 30-month guided apprenticeship, with the goal of establishing an independent ongoing, certified Enterprise Facilitation program. In the first months, the members of the board and the Enterprise Facilitator received Sirolli training and commenced efforts to determine if this method would work for our area. Looking back board members agree that it has been a great start and are looking forward to the future of the project.
To date, over 180 entrepreneurs have worked with our facilitator. Interest in the project has been generated throughout the county with the Resource Team making over 900 personal introductions of the Facilitator to people in the community and by word of mouth. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the board has continued to grow.