Recognizing and Strengthening the New Rural EconomyJack M. Geller, Ph.D.Geller & AssociatesMankato. Minn.
We all know that Rural Minnesota is a Diverse Place • Diverse in its scenery and topography • Diverse in it’s economy. • Diverse in its demography • Diverse in its culture. In the end, how you view rural MN is a function of where you sit.
But where there is diversity there is also commonality. So what do the following have in common? • A graphic artist in Pine River - • A custom cartographer in Springfield - • An PDA repair service in Mankato - • A iPod repair service in Granite Falls -
The Answer They represent entrepreneurial businesses on the leading edge of the New Rural Economy.
What is the New Rural Economy? It’s the emergence of entrepreneurial knowledge and technical skill workers who are starting up and/or nurturing their small businesses all over rural Minnesota.
New Economy Entrepreneurs: • Bring new technology businesses to rural MN. • Bring young families seeking a rural lifestyle. • Make disproportionate contributions to our rural economy. • Are virtually invisible to our economic development professionals.
What do they need? • A community that will help them nurture their business as well as their families. • Affordable housing. • Business-class broadband and technology services. • Daily FedEx/UPS delivery. • Reasonable infrastructure costs.
While they are now modest in numbers, don’t underestimate the ability of these New Economy entrepreneurs over time to change the dynamics of our rural economy.
Steps communities can take to encourage more New Rural Economy entrepreneurs • Economic development professionals should seek out these entrepreneurs to better understand their needs and motivations. • Telecom companies and local leaders should work together to ensure quality broadband services are accessible and affordable. Is your community designated by DEED as e-commerce ready? • Ensure that overnight delivery services are conveniently available.
Steps the state and regional entities can take. • Work to create a spatially-separated industry cluster of New Economy Entrepreneurs throughout rural Minnesota. • The Governor’s new SEED Initiative can potentially provide key support and financing for such businesses.
Thank You For more information contact: Jack M. Geller, Ph.D. Geller & Associates (507) 381-0720 firstname.lastname@example.org