What good is it to teach people how to be good entrepreneurs if you don’t make more places for them to try out tiny business ideas?
Right now, once they finish the class, they need to have all their ducks in a row in order to go into business in the traditional ways. In order to afford a building or location and all the startup expenses and then survive the first year, they need to be clean and sober, have great credit, deep pockets, good connections, strong business skills, and a solid support network. This is asking too much of most people.
If they don’t have every advantage in that list, they’re going to need to start smaller, probably tiny. They’ll have to start by using the Innovative Rural Business Models.
Then they can slowly build up their resources, their finances, better credit, more connections, better business skills and find that support network as they go. While they’re already in business.
And the in-class learning is valuable, but the real-world experience of actually being in business, even a tiny business, is even more valuable. It’s one thing to listen to the lesson on cash flow; it’s another thing entirely to figure out how you’re going to pay for merchandise before you sell it.
Entrepreneurship is the best leverage point for improving the quality of life in your community. When you give people the tools and resources to earn their own money, you’re helping people gain the financial resources to take on the most pressing issues in your community.
Just make sure you don’t leave them stranded after class, with no place to go into business.
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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.