About: Background

In 1992, Frank Knott founded ViTAL Economy (VE). His goal was to create a virtual resource team comprised of successful business, government, education and non-profit entrepreneurs that could provide best-practice expertise to underperforming and remote regional economies. That team is called the VE Alliance.

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“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams
6th President of the United States


Since 1992, ViTAL Economy (VE) has worked with regional economies throughout the United States, Canada and Australia to develop, implement and finance transformative, asset-based community economic development (CED) initiatives. These initiatives have achieved tangible and measurable triple-bottom line results that include:

  • Adding more than $3 billion in annual sustainable economic impact
  • Creating thousands of new, high-wage jobs
  • Building hundreds of entrepreneurial firms

The tools and processes that form the basis of the Formula For A ViTAL Economy have evolved since 1974, when founder Frank Knott recognized that traditional approaches to economic development were no longer effective in the emerging 24/7 knowledge economy. He drew from the depth and breadth of his private and public-sector experience to establish the principles and methods upon which the VE Alliance is founded. A commitment to constant refinement of the Formula for a ViTAL Economy has yielded the eight steps of the VE Journey, which are based on the premise that we are now in a networked economy where wealth and prosperity are created through people networks enabled by technology networks.


VE also has been a key advisor for broadband digital-divide initiatives in 40-plus states, seven Canadian provinces, two Australian states and several island nations. We’re recognized for our ability to facilitate collaboration among competitive network providers and for helping them understand that a networked economy can expand demand for broadband connectivity services from 1.5% to 6% of regional GDP. We’ve helped form numerous network provider communities of interest (COI) in connection with VE-led regional economy initiatives. The goal of every VE initiative is to:

  • Transform network providers’ and regional leaders’ understanding of the networked economy
  • Increase residential, business and government demand for broadband services
  • Increase broadband access across a regional economy
  • Adopt global best-practice broadband adoption rates
  • Expand COI private investment in broadband infrastructure
  • Recognize the essential role of broadband in enabling a networked economy

Contact VE or 410-321-1484 today to learn more about how we can help your community grow and prosper.

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Our Approach in Action