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can hedge the potential loss of large corporate employers by cultivating
That’s the proposition of
Jack Schultz of Effingham, Ill., author of ‘‘Boomtown USA: The 7 1/2 Keys
to Big Success in Small Towns.’’
The generation born from
1977 to 1995, called the Millennial Generation, will be the most entrepreneurial
generation in the history of the United States, Schultz says. It will be
compared to the generation that in 1880 transformed the United States into
a world power.
More than half of the Millennial
Generation have dreams to start their own businesses. Economic developers
can help direct them and connect them with investors.
‘‘Iowa is on the cutting
edge of this with the Pappajohn Institute,’’ Schultz says.
The John and Mary Pappajohn
Institute, initiated in August 2005, provides a fastpaced, challenging
academic program for exceptional students.
Economic developers can
encourage fledgling entrepreneurs in small towns by organizing brown-bag
lunches with an accountant who discusses taxes. Other topics can be marketing
or developing a business plan, says Paul Heath, director of the Small Business
Development Center at the University of Iowa.
Entrepreneurs also can benefit
from business and mentoring workshops.
‘‘Entrepreneurship can be
taught, to some extent,’’ Heath says. ‘‘It takes passion on the part of
individuals, but they need to be taught regulatory requirements and where
financial assistance is available.’’