Michael P Darger

Extension Specialist, Community Economics


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Business succession and transition planning, business retention and expansion (BR&E) in particular and community economic development in general.  

Personal profile

Michael has managed the Extension Department of Community Development's Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) programs for many years. Since 2021 he has led Extension's Business Succession and Transition programming and research. Currently, he is principal investigator for The Minnesota Business Succession and Transition Study of employer businesses with 5-500 employees. 

Through the Connecting Businesses and Community program (i.e. Extension’s BRE model), he provides consulting and applied research for Minnesota communities. He cooperates with Extension educators and U of MN specialists on BRE initiatives and other community economics programs and research. He co-teaches BRE courses (online and in-person) for economic development professionals and stakeholders in the USA and internationally. 

Michael created a special BRE issue of Community Development, Journal of the Community Development Society 48:2, May, 2017. It was published (2019) as a hard-cover book, Business Retention and Expansion (BRE): A Practical Approach to Economic Development (ISBN: 978-0-367-17361-6) in the Community Development - Current Issues series. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), Oxfordshire, England.

Michael was the department's first community economics program leader from 2004–2010, when he served as supervisor, coach and convener for nine Extension educators.

Before joining Extension, Michael spent 10 years in local economic development positions with both urban nonprofit organizations and county governments. He also has experience in commercial banking, corporate finance and marketing.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Research Interest Keywords

  • Business retention & expansion, BR&E, community economics, economic development, community engagement
  • Business succession & transition
  • Business Succession Planning
  • BRE
  • economic development


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
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