Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

A Network Evaluation Model for Sustainable Businesses

Tags: Tool Development, Evaluation

Client Name: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Client Type: Quasi-governmental

Year: 1999, 2000

Location: Vermont

Yellow Wood Associates, Inc. designed a unique evaluation tool to use with the 23 business groups who received assistance within VSJF’s first two years of operation. The first function of the tool assesses the development and status of networks between groups of businesses and their suppliers, employees, product developers, markets, technical assistants, and financiers. The second function then examines relationships between network building and outcomes in terms of improvements in job quality, the environment, and the connections between businesses and communities.