New Carolina is a non-profit working to increase South Carolina’s economic competitiveness through a cluster development strategy.

We focus on:
  • Strengthening core industries through clusters
  • Fostering innovation in business and education through initiatives
  • Connecting the dots across efforts

Our Vision. Our Progress.

Play the video below to learn about our vision for the state of South Carolina, and our progress toward a new Carolina.


George Fletcher

New Carolina is the go-to organization for cluster development. We bring leaders of companies within the same industry together to facilitate, define and implement industry-wide strategies.  New Carolina works on varying levels with numerous statewide and regional clusters.

Building and Supporting clusters was the top recommendation of Harvard Professor Michael Porter, who presented his analysis of South Carolina when he came here in 2003.

As part of the cluster efforts, New Carolina produces:
  • Economic impact studies
  • Supply chain mapping
  • Thought pieces on industry or economic development policy
  • Cluster analysis
  • Events and conversations on competitiveness topics
  • Leadership programs for industry

What Is a Cluster?

A cluster is a group of businesses in a certain region that focus on or service the same industry: Think Silicon Valley for computers, Napa Valley for wine and Detroit for automotive.

Companies within clusters come together to increase efficiency and innovation within that industry, while boosting the overall economy in their region. How? By supporting new business development, enhancing existing business, recruiting new companies to an area, and helping companies within the cluster identify workforce needs and marketing strategies.

Regional Clusters

Successful clustering occurs on the regional level. End users have an increased awareness of the value of products and services coming out of the region, existing industry becomes more engaged, and the region begins to differentiate itself from its competitors. 


New Carolina works collaboratively across business, government and academic sectors, steering task forces to enhance education and

workforce development, increase support for entrepreneurship and tackle issues in distressed areas.

New Carolina aims to integrate education, innovation and entrepreneurship into strategies of the core industries in South Carolina. This creates a strong economic community in the state that helps companies want to come here, stay here and grow here.

  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Distressed Areas

Connecting the Dots

New Carolina is focused on streamlining statewide efforts, cheering on our partners who have already made progress, and starting  conversations around change that create new energy, new ideas, new action and new jobs in South Carolina. We want to help ensure  that all the people in the state working toward a brighter future and stronger economy for South Carolina are moving in the same direction.

The Competitiveness Initiative

Harvard professor and cluster guru Michael Porter came to South Carolina in 2003, presented his economic analysis, and recommended South Carolina form a public-private partnership of business, government and academia. That group was formed as the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, now called New Carolina.

The Competitiveness Initiative is a strategy to:

  1. Activate and upgrade clusters
  2. Continue to enhance education and workforce training
  3. Invest in research and the University system
  4. Launch internal and external marketing campaigns
  5. Create an explicit economic development program for distressed areas
  6. Increase support for start-ups and local firms
  7. Create new institutions for economic development
  8. Measure progress in raising prosperity

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