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Invisible Ripples of Rural Development

We love measurement!

It makes sense that economic developers and government agencies want to know how resources are allocated. We all want to see the fruits of our effort, and we all want to KNOW deep down that we’re having an impact.

The unique challenges of measuring growth in rural communities!

However, rural communities operate differently than their big-city cousins. Things often move slower. Network effects might take longer to propagate. Information might take longer to travel. Seeds might need more time to grow. Results might take longer or be at such a small scale that they don’t register clearly on the macro picture. Those are the numbers and stories we love to focus on the most!

Here’s what REALLY excites us!

Since 2018, we’ve activated and continue to grow over 100 businesses in communities across Canada and the US–and in every CORNER (all 60+ communities) of Nova Scotia. Those numbers put a huge smile on our faces, but they only tell such a small part of the story.

Here’s what REALLY fills our hearts with joy:

  • When a brand new Canadian finally gets their business up and running after years of trying to make it happen.
  • When someone who drops out of our Virtual Business Incubator re-enrolls 2 years later and now has a full-time operation that employs 3 people in the local community.
  • When Mary, a church auxiliary, helps us enroll 7 people from a remote fishing village at the northern tip of Cape Breton.
  • When we turn 3 of these applicants into 3 businesses that now employ 12 people in that same remote village!
  • When a child watches their Mom attending our Virtual Business Incubator from home and 15 years later grows up to be an entrepreneur because they were inspired as a child. 

Hard to measure, even harder to ignore!

These are the stories behind the numbers. The invisible ripples that slip through the cracks don’t always get felt or seen at the macro level. We believe these stories and invisible ripples are the beating heart of rural development.

While we strive to measure and report on everything we do (case in point: we’ll share another story soon about how we reduced our program budget by 50% a few years ago while DOUBLING our effectiveness), we know that numbers only tell half the story. 

Behind every number is a rural entrepreneur helping their family, community, and economy in a million different ways.

In ways that cause a million invisible ripples. 

Who knows what the TRUE results of our work will be? We’re excited to find out.

Are you looking to connect with resources, but you aren’t sure where to start?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an entrepreneur or someone passionate about their community and your business, just like these women. If you want to help unleash the untapped potential of your community or you have a business idea, here are two ways you can help:

  • Share this article with one friend. Do you have a partner in crime? Do you know people who have BIG ideas and are looking to unleash them? Who comes to mind? Do you have a name in your head? This person would love to hear from you. Think of the ripple effect you could start!
  • If you want to plug into our resources, we would LOVE (seriously: LOVE) to meet you. The easiest way for you to do that is to pick a time in our calendar
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