In 2003, the South Carolina Competitiveness Initiative was established as a collaborative effort between public and private individuals, organizations, and educational institutions. The Initiative commissioned Dr. Michel E. Porter to conduct a comprehensive study of South Carolina’s economy that would identify eight distinct issue areas for the state to focus on in order to increase per capita income in South Carolina and make the state more competitive overall. In 2004, Dr. Porter’s study led to the adoption of bylaws for the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, and in 2005, SC Competes was publicly launched.
In the years since the official launch of SC Competes, South Carolina’s business landscape has altered. Industries have evolved, priorities have changed, and along the way, SC Competes has remained flexible in its ability to meet the ever-changing needs of the state as it strives to remain competitive in a global environment.
Initiatives of SC Competes have come and gone – some have been absorbed, transferred, or been re-imagined to better fit the current needs of the state. However, throughout its many iterations, three priorities have remained the cornerstone of the SC Competes approach to serving the state – providing actionable research, supporting industry clusters, and furthering education & workforce development. We remain a standard-bearer in the realm of industry clusters and continue to be called upon to vet, establish, and incubate clusters as they navigate the industry-changing dynamics that come with technology and innovation; we produce and provide research studies that allow business leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions; and our tireless advocacy and support for iterative change in approaches to education and workforce development remain impactful.
The resulting inter-cluster business environment fosters innovation. Innovation, in turn, spurs new business ventures.