A Tale of Two Cities: From Arlington to Montevideo

In August, Arlington Economic Development staff member Adam Beebe will travel to Montevideo, Uruguay as part of Partners of the Americas, the largest volunteer-based organization in theWestern Hemisphere engaged in social, economic and cultural development.

The organization’s Business Fellows Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides an opportunity for professionals and civil servants to carry out a fellowship focusing on private sector development in Latin America related to economic development, business expansion and job creation.

As part of the fellowship experience, Adam will maintain a blog which will examine a variety of topics, viewing them through the lens of both Arlington, Virginia and Montevideo, Uruguay. Adam will compare Arlington’s approach to economic development, economic sustainability, and place making efforts to the urban environments of Montevideo and Arlington.

The comparative analysis will provide invaluable insights into what we as a “smart community” are doing well while identifying areas in which we can improve the County’s economic sustainability—particularly when addressing the needs of underserved, multicultural and non-native English speaking business communities.

Lessons about the adaptability of small businesses operating in informal markets, critical resources needed to foster social entrepreneurship and the role of cultural mores in influencing the immigrant entrepreneur’s experience in starting a new business in Arlington will directly inform AED’s methodology in supporting the prosperity of our diverse business community.

Look for postings prior to Adams departure and then throughout his journey at A Tale of Two Cities: Examining Approaches to Economic Development in Arlington, Virginia and Montevideo, Uruguay. We encourage you to follow – and comment – on Adams postings.


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