How Small Town Entrepreneurs Succeed: A Crowdfunded Bike Tour & Documentary

In the rapidly changing business environment and job market of the US, where individual jobs, or even entire branches of companies, can be lost to cheaper labor or mechanized and automated processes, the path to entrepreneurship is looking increasingly appealing to more people every day.

It’s not just their reluctance to bet their financial future on a job that may or may not be there in just a few short years, or their desire to make enough money to live comfortably without having to punch a clock, but it’s also their drive to do something that they’re passionate about, and to create something that has a lot more meaning than a job title at someone else’s company.

“There is a looming employment challenge happening in our country. Studies show that technology is eliminating more jobs than it is creating in nearly every industry, and that corporations need fewer people to produce more revenue.

The research suggests that jobs of the future may consist of part-time, short-term and contract work; and that four out of five of us may face significant periods of unemployment during our careers.

We believe there is a better option that will give us more control over this problem than the studies suggest – creating our own job in our own business.” – My New Enterprise

And this trend isn’t unique to big cities. Small town entrepreneurs are also finding their niches and building successful businesses, but we don’t often hear as much about them as we do those that are making a splash in the city, and in bigger and more established entrepreneur communities. That’s about to change, if this crowdfunded book and documentary project gets off the ground, because its focus is on the entrepreneurs that live and work in small town America.

Small towns can offer a lot to their residents, including lower costs of living, a sense of community, a slower pace of life, less traffic, access to more affordable housing, etc., but many times, the jobs just aren’t there anymore, or the ones that are there aren’t enough to support a family. Entrepreneurship offers a way to get the benefits of small town life, without having to rely on conventional employment options.

“We are choosing to focus on small-town entrepreneurs because they are the perfect role models for creating value in communities where there are not a lot of jobs. They have figured out how to make it on their own without relying on someone else to provide them a living.” – My New Enterprise

To try to identify how small town entrepreneurs succeed in building successful businesses, My New Enterprise is interviewing 100 of them, located in 100 small towns across America, and will produce a book and a documentary from this material, which might end up being a great asset for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The My New Enterprise Tour project isn’t going to do remote interviews with these small town entrepreneurs, but will instead meet up with them in person, as part of a 4000 mile bike tour beginning in June.

The team will be riding along the Trans America Bicycle Trail for their route, beginning in Florence, Oregon, and finishing at Yorktown, Virginia late in July, filming and interviewing along the way. Entrepreneurs located near the route that are interested in being interviewed for the project can contact the team, and bicycling enthusiasts are invited to join the ride for part of the journey.

To help underwrite the book publishing and film production costs, the team is using a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise $28,000, with backers receiving early access to the book and film series.

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!