This week’s rural entrepreneurship news is about support systems for small business:
- financial education
- small business support centers
- zoning laws
- global business programs
- awards programs
- access to broadband
Most important question this week:
What if you increased incomes in your area, but poverty stayed the same? Do higher wages automatically equal better financial knowledge?
Here’s the answer:
Financial education important to development
A rural banking project in Fiji is including financial education.
“Financial insecurity is not only a factor of inadequate income but, often, it is exacerbated by poor money management.”
WWF [World Wildlife Fund]’s intention is not far removed from the aim of the [rural banking] partnership in that it seeks to promote better management of resources in the hands of ordinary Pacific islanders, whether it is money, land or sea resources and to move rural Pacific society away from the tendency to spend at whim.
Source: Islands Business.
Small business support centers do work
Entrepreneurs miss them when they close
Read the allAfrica story about the Small Business Information Centre (SBIC) in the Soweto Market in Katutura, a district established during Apartheid rules, in the national capital of Namibia, Africa. It was making a difference to people starting small and tiny businesses. It has been shut down, and may not reopen.
[Photo of a small business in the Soweto Market, Katutura, Windhoek, Namibia, by ke1jzer on Flickr.]
Rural zoning change draws 25 lawsuits
Zoning! It affects businesses and homes, it affects property values, it limits uses, and amazingly enough, it usually draws very little public input before it is enacted. We only seem to notice zoning when it stops something we want to do. Leesburg Today profiles a massive rural zoning change that has drawn 25 lawsuits.
Global business program links China and Vermont (USA)
The Stafford Technical Center is teaching students how to do business in the global economy, focusing on China, according to the Rutland Herald.
China has become a leading global economic force and already is trading with Vermont. Third-quarter exports from Vermont to China from 2003 to 2005 increased by 160 percent. Electric machinery, sound and television equipment were the top exports.
Best Rural Retailer Awards in UK
Read about the winners in the Farmers Weekly Interactive. Learn from their achievements! Steal their ideas!
Social entrepreneurs defined; awarded
They are social entrepreneurs – individuals with ground-breaking solutions to society’s most critical social problems. Instead of leaving such responsibilities to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs identify the root of the problem, develop system-changing solutions, spread their ideas, and encourage entire communities to join the movement.
In the words of Bill Drayton, “Our job is not to give people fish; it’s not to teach them how to fish; it’s how to build a new and better fishing industry.”
PARSA Community Foundation is awarding fellowships to social entrepreneurs. Read more at Payvand’s Iran News.
Best article on rural broadband:
Vermont exploring all rural broadband options
The Burlington Free Press(USA) has an excellent article running through the options in creating better rural broadband access. It explores the government’s role, the technical options, and the effect on local businesses and people. I commend the author Terri Hallenbeck for an in-depth article.
Local gov takes the lead on rural broadband in UK
Many more rural residents sign up for broadband than the national average!
A multi-million pound scheme will see almost blanket coverage of internet broadband throughout North Yorkshire, paving the way for the county to attract a new breed of businesses which rely on cutting-edge technology.
While the private sector has shied away from financing the new technology in sparsely populated rural areas, the [North Yorkshire] county council has created a limited company, called Nynet, to purchase high-bandwidth internet capacity and sell it on to service providers.
York’s economy has become increasingly reliant on the creative industries sector and a two-year trial of broadband technology in some of North Yorkshire’s most sparsely populated areas saw the take-up rate reach almost 38 per cent of all businesses and domestic properties – far in excess of the national average of 25 per cent.
Wireless broadband is also being rolled out in Namibia
Although this project is focused on urban areas now, leaders are already thinking about rural issues.
Today, half of the country’s population live in rural areas where more learners get their education in rural schools.
“I would like to see every role-player in the Namibian telecommunications industry and communications platforms such as MWEB’s Wireless Broadband technology, join forces in an attempt to answer the question of rural areas with a resounding YES!”
She added: “If we don’t pool our resources to bring broadband and its economic, educational and communications advantages to Namibia’s neglected areas, we will have missed a golden opportunity to bring this remarkable technology to bear on areas desperately in need of its spectacular impact on development,” stressed Nandi-Ndaitwah.
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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.