Rural Entrepreneur Attraction

Ashtabula County needs to build its entrepreneurial base from within and from outside. This article talks about how to do the latter (from outside).

The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (Lincoln, NE) says that for most rural communities there are five groups of entrepreneurs that could be attracted to their community:

Group 1 – Youth & Young Adults
Group 2 – Those Seeking a Business Opportunity
Group 3 – Those Motivated by Lifestyle Changes
Group 4 – Those Following a Loved One
Group 5 – Retirees

Quality of Life Assets. By recognizing that talented people have choices as to where they live and understanding that there is considerable diversity of the kinds of communities people are seeking the definition of quality of life will vary in this mobile creative class. Rural communities should not seek to fundamentally become something they are not. If someone is seeking the high energy life of New York City, accept and celebrate their choice. Don’t fight it. Rather rural communities should focus on those that are seeking a “rural lifestyle.” Build on inherent assets and qualities. But recognize that rural communities may lack some essential ingredients.

An Entrepreneurial Business Climate. Every community has the potential to build a basic entrepreneurial business climate. If communities are willing to work regionally, they can develop high performing entrepreneurial business climates. The most important attribute of a strong business climate are entrepreneurs and effective ways for them to network with each other. Consider including entrepreneur attraction as part of a business coaching program.

Adequate Business Infrastructure. Most rural communities that were and are effective with business attraction probably have adequate business infrastructure for most entrepreneurs. However, as we move from a products economy to a knowledge economy there will be greater need for educated workers, telecommunications and work place environments and less need for industrial support infrastructure such a rail service, power and semi-skilled workers.

Read the complete guide here. It’s worthwhile since it is written as a “how to” manual.

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