In partnership with the National Center For Economic Gardening (NCEG), Virginia's statewide Economic Gardening program provides qualifying second-stage companies with custom resources to identify and resolve distinct growth challenges that traditional business assistance and incentives do not address. 

Eligible companies will receive customized services from a team of research specialists, including, but not limited to:

  • Strategic growth plans to develop new markets, refine business models, and utilize competitive intelligence
  • Increased visibility through improved digital presence, search engine optimization, and social media marketing
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data analysis and mapping 



To be considered for the program, companies must:

  • Be a for-profit, privately-held Virginia company in business for at least 2 years
  • Generate annual revenue between $500K and $50M
  • Employ 5 to 100 full-time employees
  • Demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue during two of the past five years
  • Have potential revenue growth in the next three years
  • Provide products or services beyond the local area to regional, national, or global markets

Note: Retail, restaurant establishments, and local service providers (e.g. accounting, legal, staffing firms) do not qualify for the program.

Program Details

VEDP's Economic Gardening program provides access to resources, analysts, and tools typically only available and affordable to Fortune 500 companies.

Companies accepted into the program begin an engagement period of approximately 6-8 weeks. All costs are covered by VEDP, and offer a quick turnaround time and highly-focused structure:

Quick Turnaround Engagement

  • Initial discovery call begins the economic gardening engagement
  • CEO commitment of 8-12 hours with NCEG research team
  • NCEG's team of specialists commit to 36 hours of professional research and consulting
  • Information is provided within days, not months or years

Highly-Focused Structure

  • Customized for second-stage companies
  • Gain strategic information around one or two major business issues and/or growth challenges
  • Deliver actionable insights 

VEDP surveys participating companies after one year to collect information about growth in jobs and revenue data.

How To Get Started & Apply

Companies apply through the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG), and follow the below process:

  1. VEDP works with local Economic Development Offices (EDO) to help companies confirm eligibility and answer questions before beginning the application process. 
  2. Eligible companies apply through the NCEG secure online application.
  3. Companies accepted into the program will receive a formal email from VEDP outlining next steps, including:
    1. Instructions for accessing and navigating the online workspace; and
    2. Meeting dates and times for a discovery call between the CEO, business owner, or president and her/his sales and marketing teams, along with NCEG.


Companies can direct application questions to VEDP. For more information on the Economic Gardening Initiative, contact:

tstuller [at] (Tim Stuller)
Vice President, Regional Talent Solutions and Business Outreach