Deb Brown, a small town newspaper editor from Iowa, has interviewed me on a wide range of subjects! She has also shared the interview on her blog, Deb Works.
We talked about making a living in a small town, Small Biz Survival, lessons I’ve learned from my businesses, social media for small town businesses, African safaris, grant writing, and agritourism.
Here’s a sample, about reducing brain drain.
How can we get our kids to come back to the community after college? What do we need to be doing to help develop our community for them too?
Engage them. Put young people in charge of projects. Involve them in “adult” meetings, like Rotary or the City Council. Setup a job shadowing or mentoring program with local businesses. Do everything you can to make young people a vital part of everything in the community. It’s not just about projects or assets. It’s about building a sense of belonging and community. That will stick with kids long after they head to college, and that is what will make them want to return.
You can also go further to bring them back, with events focused on homecomings. You can hold all-school, all-year reunions. If you can compile a mailing list of interested alums, you can market not just your events, but also your town. Your city government might be able to offer inexpensive lots for building or other move-back incentives. You have to be creative about it.
Read the whole, long interview at Becky McCray – A Real Entrepreneur.
- Where your future entrepreneurs and business leaders come from - July 25, 2017
- Clean Your Own Sidewalk - July 17, 2017
- Why your downtown looks empty - July 10, 2017
- Farm Fresh Auctions – a new angle on the local niche - July 3, 2017
- The big flaw in rural business counts - June 26, 2017
- The rural contradiction: “There aren’t any good jobs!” vs. “We can’t find good people!” - June 19, 2017
- Can rural communities retain young people? Are rural Millennials different from urban Millennials? - June 12, 2017
- How do I attract good employees for low-level jobs? - June 5, 2017
- Retail’s big split: why big boxes are in trouble and what small town retailers can do - May 22, 2017
- Surprising results in the Survey of Rural Challenges 2017 - May 15, 2017