In late 2020, our team started researching how small, rural communities were building their own unique entrepreneurial ecosystems. For our purposes, we define rural communities as those who have populations of 60,000 or less. Most of these communities rely on a single industry to employ the bulk of the residents and have long histories with a specific company. This is a scary predicament. A single shutdown or any sign of economic instability could mean the economic devastation of a whole town.
With our filters in place and a reality check in mind, one place spectacularly fit our parameters; the entire state of Wyoming. As COVID-19 cases were spiking across the country, we decided to conduct as many interviews as possible with diverse community leaders, delving into the successes and challenges of the state's energy crisis, coal mine closures, and air quality. We wanted to understand to what degree entrepreneurship was part of the conversation, and the models used to diversify more unconventional economies.
What started out as a simple curiosity, turned out to be one of the most interesting projects of our year. Stay tuned as we delve into the diverse world of small town America, their connections to entrepreneurship, and what their future holds as they rebuild a 21st century economy.
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