What is Norfology?

Norfology | nôrfälejee |
noun (pl. -gies)
the art or science of making a good life and a great living in Norfolk, Virginia.



Norfolk’s young professionals, or “Norfologists” as they are affectionately known, are a growing group that is interested in business information and events that will increase their sphere of influence. Click on the link to Norfology video clips to meet a few of our interesting locals.

Musts for Tech-savvy Norfolk Entrepreneurs:

Start Norfolk- This annual event matches brains and creativity - Start Norfolk is a weekend long event bringing together individuals of different mind and skill sets - entrepreneurs, engineers, developers, designers, and business people - with the goal of building a viable startup over a weekend.

Hatch - Norfolk's Accelerator- Hatch is a mentor-based startup accelerator program for technology and design entrepreneurs who are ready to build a product and launch a company. Visit HatchNorfolk.com for the latest news!

Happenings of special interest

  • MakerFaire
  • The Granby Experience: Meet Greet & Imagine
  • Ignite
  • Hampton Roads Technology Council
  • Brain Gain Task Force of the Greater Norfolk Corporation
  • Silicon Anchor - Regional Tech Blog

Entrepreneurship Training - Opportunity Inc., or Oppinc., has a grant to provide entrepreneurship training under the U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation Fund as part of a three region Virginia consortium that includes organizations in Northern Virginia and Richmond. In Hampton Roads, the program will provide 250 adult and dislocated workers eligible for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services with comprehensive entrepreneurship training and technical assistance. All clients will receive customized training in a core curriculum that includes: business planning, accounding, finance and credit, and sales and marketing. The educational component will be further enriched with services that include entrepreneurship mentoring, networking and special events, and specialized training in areas like federal contracting.

The Department of Development and Virginia Business Assistance provide on-going free training courses called "Entrepreneur Express" - check out the Development calendar on our home page for dates and registration links to upcoming courses.

Norfolk ranks in Top 20 of “Best Cities for Young Professionals”

Based on a study by Next Generation Consulting, and as reported by Forbes.com and Area Development magazine, Norfolk ranks high in Seven Indexes important to Young Professionals.

  • Vitality
  • Earning
  • Learning
  • Social Capital
  • Cost of Lifestyle
  • After Hours
  • Around Town

A study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation points to new companies in particular as being the key creators of new jobs. Fast-growing young companies account for 10 percent of new jobs, according to this study, authored by Dane Stangler, senior analyst with the Kauffman Foundation. Data was tabulated using U.S. Census Bureau data and the Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) database. The report focused specifically on what it calls "gazelle" firms, those high-growth firms experiencing the most rapid expansion. It found that these companies account for a disproportionate share of job creation in any given year.

According to the study,

  • The average U.S. firm creates about 2 to 3 jobs a year. By contrast, fast-growing young companies (those 3 to 5 years old) create about 27 jobs per year.
  • In any given year, the top 5% of firms (as measured by employment growth), about 273,000 companies, creates two-thirds of new jobs. The top-performing 1% of firms (about 55,000) generate roughly 40% of new job creation.
  • While the fastest-growing young firms (those 3 to 5 years old) account for less than 1% of all companies, they generate 10% of new jobs each year.

The small business community is often the focus when it comes to discussions of job growth. But the findings of the Kauffman Foundation's report suggest that it's important to promote and support new businesses, not just existing ones. The high level of job creation in new firms should be cited in order to spur entrepreneurship and new business creation.
The report suggests the following measures to help support this job growth:

  • Focus on creating more new firms, with the expectation that this also will increase, by simple arithmetic, the number of high-growth firms.
  • Remove barriers that conceivably block the emergence of high-growth companies, including access to capital, taxes, and regulations.
  • Target those areas of the economy that likely may be fertile sources for high-growth firms - namely, immigrants and universities.

The report recognizes some of the risks of focusing on these "gazelles" to encourage job growth. "High-growth companies launch never-ending challenges to the status quo in every sector of the economy. They entail uncertainty and, in some cases, failure. But, high-growth firms represent the most fertile source of new job creation and, in many areas, the only way in which the economic future comes into being."

According to Phyllis Weiss Haserot, President and Founder of the Practice Development Council, “workforce culture is changing as the younger generations gather strength in numbers. The 10 items below are what young professionals want and need to develop to their potential – and they make sense. A workplace culture imbued with these attributes will benefit everybody.”

  • Defined values and culture that they can relate to
  • Career development and ongoing training / mentoring
  • Career fulfillment – intellectual challenge, recognition, growth
  • A feeling they add value and make a difference
  • Active “management of the talent”-providing leadership, feedback
  • Team spirit, collaboration
  • Fun – camaraderie, appreciation, praise
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Great facilities – comfortable, attractive, stimulating environment
  • Compensation



Norfolk Investment Report 2014

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Norfolk Business Profile Data –
showcasing all the vital info.

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