About EFI

Changing the landscape of economic development in Florida

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. EFI’s mission is to expand and diversify the state’s economy through job creation. In pursuit of its mission, EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.

EFI’s activities have championed Florida as the premier location for business expansion and relocation, created a renewed interest both nationally and internationally in Florida as a top state for business, and resulted in a significant number of new jobs and capital investments.

Enterprise Florida recruits new business to the state, and works to retain and expand existing industry and business. EFI focuses its economic development efforts on a wide range of industry sectors, including aviation & aerospace, life sciences, information technology, defense & homeland security, clean energy, financial & professional services, manufacturing and beyond.

EFI is the state’s primary entity for trade and export development supporting more than 60,000 Florida exporting businesses. The organization also supports small and minority businesses through its capital programs. Another key aspect of EFI’s responsibilities is the marketing and promotion of Florida as a premier business destination.

History

  • In 1978, the responsibilities of the Florida Department of Commerce were split with the Department of Labor and Employment Security.
  • In 1996, under Governor Lawton Chiles, Florida became the first state in the country to place principal responsibility for economic development, international trade, research and business image marketing in the hands of a public-private partnership. Driving the effort was the belief that, with hands-on participation by Florida businesses, Florida could move from its traditional economic drivers of tourism and agriculture to a sophisticated mix of industries and international business. This model has been adopted by many U.S. states.
  • In 2011, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and through the Florida Legislation, the state created a seamless economic development team. The addition of the Secretary of Commerce position, which also serves as EFI’s President & CEO, has led to the efficient use of resources, and allowed EFI to more effectively coordinate the state’s economic development efforts with Workforce Florida, Inc. (WFI) and the recently created Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). In order to respond quickly to the needs of businesses, EFI operates like a business.

Goals

EFI is the public-private partnership dedicated to job creation for Florida and its more than 19 million residents. The goal of EFI is to promote Florida as a premier business destination to a targeted audience of corporate decision makers and site selectors, and encourage them select the state for their next location, relocation or expansion project.

Governance

EFI was created in statute as a public-private organization with its board composition outlined. A policy-driven Board of Directors oversees the organization, comprised of appointed members and a diverse group of investors representing some of the nation’s most notable corporations in Florida. In addition, each member of the Florida Cabinet holds a position on the board. Florida Governor Rick Scott serves as the Chairman of EFI’s Board of Directors. Florida’s Secretary of Commerce, Gray Swoope serves as President and CEO of Enterprise Florida.

Operational & Fiscal Accountability

EFI’s activities are measured and reported regularly through its performance-based contract with DEO. EFI also has an internal operations plan with its own set of rigorous objectives and measures. Each staff member develops a performance plan annually with stretch goals. The state invests annually in EFI’s operations budget, which includes amounts appropriated for the Florida Sports Foundation and MaSBEC. The private sector augments the state’s efforts by joining the board of directors as corporate investors.

Commitment to Transparency & Accountability

Enterprise Florida remains steadfast in its commitment to accountability and transparency regarding economic development incentives. With the support of EFI, DEO launched an online economic development incentives portal providing access to information about the state’s economic development incentives. EFI supported legislation to accelerate the release of agreements with companies to create jobs. Furthermore, EFI’s board meeting materials including the agenda and board book are posted on EFI’s website and the meetings are being televised live by the Florida Channel. In addition, many of EFI’s most frequently requested documents are located on the EFI newsroom.