Paying It Forward

Toms shoe company founder Blake Mycoskie said, “Start something that matters.” We believe it. We have a commitment to pay our success forward. We pay it forward by giving our time, money, and talent to communities and economic developers.


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In 2014, we decided to give away one consulting project a year through a competitive proposal process. Up to $25,000 worth of our services. Crazy, right? Some told us so. We did and loved it. The first winner was the four town Alliance of South Charlotte Communities. Without our support the group may never have gotten off the ground. The 2015 winner was Cabarrus County’s proposal to raise awareness of nontraditional careers to girls and women. The winner of the 2016 Creative Give Back was Wayne County Development Alliance.  The project developed strategies to transition military spouses, exiting members, and veterans into local employment. The winner of the 2017 Creative Give Back was the City of Graham. The project developed a community development/revolving  loan fund and programs to support entrepreneurship initiatives. We look forward to continuing The Creative Give Back. Send us your bright ideas.


Mentort Network Screen shotWe would not be working at the level we are today without the support of mentors along the way. They opened doors, guided us through minefields, and provided much needed on-the-job training. As our profession ages, along with the rest of America’s baby boomers, we saw a need for a way to match newbies with gurus. In 2015 we launched the, a free website service to match mentors and mentees.



Creative EDC sponsored the first Women’s Leadership Forum in February 2016. We invited economic developers to come together to LEARN and return to the office prepared to LEAD. The program included how to position for career moves, negotiation techniques, leadership development, public speaking, and lots of networking.

The conference gathered over 100 women from the field of economic development. We had a wonderful time learning from each other. Here are a few things participants had to say about their experience: Read more


The Creative Resource Library offers free research for economic developers.  Check back often for white papers, free research, and how to’s.

Creative Economic Development Consulting