Exploring Growth Opportunities

Last summer, VEDP set out to find patterns and behaviors of companies experiencing continuous growth throughout Virginia. To grow, or rather, create more jobs, is often the objective of most for-profit organizations, but how many companies really meet that goal? And better yet, how are those companies meeting that goal?

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Dr. Gary Kunkle, founder and CEO of Outlier LLC, VEDP helped facilitate a 60-question survey to determine the qualities and practices of companies that added new employees for at least two years within a five-year period. Of the 516 companies surveyed, just under half were considered sustained growers.

While the sustained growth companies shared several traits, they were not limited to any particular industry or region of the Commonwealth. Employment opportunities at growing businesses were offered to workers of every skill and socioeconomic level. In addition, employees were given healthy benefits packages, along with opportunities for career advancement. Businesses considered to have sustained growth also tended to be more civic-minded and were likely to participate in charitable causes.

The survey’s results and recommendations were summarized into a custom diagnostic report and sent to each of the 516 companies in June. Over the next several months, VEDP will collaborate with our Virginia economic development partners to conduct workshops and focus groups to share the study’s results and to discuss how best to approach and assist both sustained growth companies and companies that aim to become sustained growers.

VEDP is excited to be a part of the first statewide study to explore sustained growth companies. We look forward to harnessing this data to better serve and assist more Virginia companies.