Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture/Community

Report
Creating an Entrepreneurial
Culture/Community
Dr. Deborah M. Markley
Co-Director
RUPRI Center for Rural
Entrepreneurship
7th Annual National
Value-Added Ag Conference
Indianapolis, Indiana
June 16-17, 2005
Unique Challenges to Rural
Entrepreneurship
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Culture often does not support entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs are isolated from peers and mentors
– networking difficult
Entrepreneurs fly below the radar screen of local
economic development officials
Rural communities “waiting to be saved” –
dependency alive and well
Need to take a portfolio approach to investing in
entrepreneurship - challenging
Why create an entrepreneurial
culture/community?
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Entrepreneurs thrive in a supportive
environment
In a supportive culture, leaders accept losses
that WILL occur but continue support for
entrepreneurship anyway
Outcomes from entrepreneurship occur over
the long term – need a culture of
entrepreneurship to stay in the game for the
long haul
How to create an entrepreneurial
culture/community
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Leadership
Youth engagement
Celebrate Success
Learning from others
Leadership
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Broad based: immigrants, women, new
arrivals, young people
Involve entrepreneurs: “by and for
entrepreneurs”, engage them where they are
Engage community in strategy development:
seek input; share results
Policy change: entrepreneur-friendly policies
send a message (e.g., zoning for homebased businesses)
Example: Georgia’s Entrepreneur
Friendly Communities
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Statewide, community-based Entrepreneur
Network (ENet): GA Tech in partnership with
state ED
Community process to establish
entrepreneur support program: review visit to
determine E Readiness; strongly focused on
assets
Learning network of E Friendly communities
Example: Home Town
Competitiveness
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Leaders are made, not born
Ord Nebraska: Leadership Quest program
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Formal, skill building program: 20-25 people
annually (including youth)
Meet monthly for 9 months
More people running for office, working on
community projects, serving on boards
Recognized by Nebraska as top rural
development strategy in 2003
Youth Engagement
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View youth as change agents
Leadership (as in HTC)
Entrepreneurship education in schools, after
school programs
Need to move from “teacher driven” to
institutionalized approach
–
Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education
national standards
Examples: Curriculum and WV
Dreamquest
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Rural Entrepreneurship through Action
Learning (REAL): curriculum for K-16;
experiential learning
(www.realenterprises.org)
Mini-Society: 8-12 year olds; experiential
(www.minisociety.org)
WV Dreamquest: high school business plan
competition (www.wvdreamquest.com)
–
1st year, over 150 students participated
Celebrate Success
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Celebrate to reinforce cultural change (news
stories about entrepreneurship)
Celebrate to maintain and build momentum
(highlight successful entrepreneurs, E of the
year)
Celebrate to influence policy makers (joint
ribbon cuttings)
Encourage innovation (business plan
competitions, youth entrepreneurship
awards)
Example: Fairfield Iowa’s
Entrepreneurs’ Association
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FEA created in 1989 – by and for
entrepreneurs (mentoring, networking,
seminars, “boot camp for entrepreneurs”)
Celebrate E of the year, E Hall of Fame, new
start ups
Over 20 years: created 2,000 jobs; tripled per
capita income; rank in top 5 in per capita
charitable giving; “Silicorn Valley;”
headquarters location for 50 companies
Where do you begin?
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Important to get started – don’t need
elaborate strategy to write a story or feature
entrepreneurs at a chamber dinner
There are tools and resources available –
coming soon! E2 Energizing Entrepreneurs:
Charting a Course for Rural Communities
Visit our website – www.ruraleship.org
Right now…
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Start by networking
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Find one person in this room who you DO NOT
KNOW
Introduce yourself and ask what is happening in
his/her hometown to encourage entrepreneurship
or to build an entrepreneurial community
Share what you are doing in your community
Exchange business cards, follow up!
For More Information
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Deb Markley
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Don Macke
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[email protected]
Brian Dabson
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[email protected]
[email protected]
www.ruraleship.org

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