Ed Morrison writes a weekly roundup of stories and commentary. Three items came together for me today. I’ll try to tie them together to share with you.
What does your small town need to grow?
- Entrepreneurs need mentors and networks of support.
- Education is economic development, especially early education.
- Tourism is a traded business just as much as manufacturing.
Here are quotes from those three stories in Ed’s latest weekly roundup:
During the course of the discussion, several participants commented on the importance of mentoring in order to train new entrepreneurs in the skills they need to build a business.
Economic development professionals often get this calculation wrong. They see the absence of startups in their region, and they think that the real problem is an absence of venture capital. While many regions can benefit from strengthening the networks of informal investors, early-stage capital follows good ideas. It does not create them.
In a brainpower economy, education is economic development
Education, especially early education plays a critical role in generating future prosperity. A new policy brief from the Brookings Institution, explores how to quantify the impact of early education. Over the last 40 years, the report notes that education accounts for anywhere between 13% and 30% of the total increase in productivity that our economy has generated.
The report goes on to explore how investments in early effective preschool education can have dramatic economic growth effects.
In the past, economic development professionals tended to look down on tourism development. Now, however, the lines separating economic development, community development, tourism development, and workforce development are all blurring.
Innovative regional leaders are getting back to basics. Any business that attracts money from outside the region tends to improve prosperity within the region. These traded businesses include tourism. So, for example, tourism is big business in Appalachian Ohio.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.