Sharon Gulick, Director of the University of Missouri’s ExCEED (Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development) Program, related some of the best practices that they have found in their three year place-based program in rural MO at the Economic Gardening Gathering in Steamboat Springs, CO.
She related, “We stress a BYOB approach.”
Now in my day everybody knew what BYOB meant. The first B was Bring and the last one was Beer.
But that wasn’t what Gulick had in mind for young entrepreneurs. Her message was to “Build Your Own Business.” I like her version much better!
Other tips were, “Send your local newspaper to all of your past residents to stay in touch with them. It is a very cheap investment and you never know when they might come back home.”
Another take home idea from her was, “Brookfield, MO has started a new tradition in their town. Rather than giving each new graduate a suitcase with a message to go out and do good, they give them each their own post office box with the message that you’ll always have a tie to your hometown.”
I learned later that they buy a big rural mail box with the red flag on it for about $9 and paint each students name on the side of the box. The young graduates take them to their graduation parties and take them with them to college.
MO is putting on an Entrepreneurship Summit November 6th and 7th in St. Louis, with a special focus on ag entrepreneurship. Hope you can make it to see the good things going on in the Show Me State.