Monday, May 30, 2005

An Entrepreneurial Town

Argonia, KS (population 534) kept getting mentioned when I was in Sumner County last week. This town has had a number of entrepreneurs who started their careers in this little town. I’ve often been intrigued by what causes some communities, like Argonia to be so entrepreneurial.

Two years ago four local individuals decided that their town needed a grocery store. They hoped to be able to do $700,000 in business. It ended up doing $2 million in its first year, generating a great deal of local interest and support.

The medium age of the community is 41 years of age compared to the national average of 35. It is a town aging in place, one that I see too often in my travels. I’ve been in some that are at 50+ years, way too old. Argonia still has a chance to turn this aging around.

Their strategy has been to build a lake in the town. The 24, one acre lots on the lake will be given away. That’s right, given away! They hope to recruit in families that want to raise a family, saving their local school district which is down to 180 students with this strategy.

That’s an entrepreneurial town for you! I hope to get back to study it in the future.

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