Small towns have a future, even if it’s for a controversial reason.
Reason we need small towns #2: Natural Resources.
Think about all the different natural resources we depend on:
- Oil and gas
- Mining and minerals
- Wind power
- Solar power
(There are too many more to list.)
Where do these resources come from? Rural areas.
These natural resources are needed for all aspects of our society, business and lives. They are also a focus of controversy, with concerns about extraction, damage, wealth sharing, and fights over resource scarcity.
I think it’s clear that although production of natural resources can be negative for small towns, it also has the potential to be positive.
The people who produce and protect natural resources are based in small towns. Without small towns, it wouldn’t be possible to produce the natural resources that we need.
So the production of natural resources provides some relevance to small towns, and natural resources also represent a huge wave of opportunity for small towns.
Opportunities in natural resources can be found in at least three places:
1. Industries making a pivot or change in direction.
Look at power companies trying to help customers reduce their consumption. That’s a big transition. Look at manufacturers trying to reduce their waste stream. Another big transition and opportunity.
2. Intersections of industries
Look at food production, trying to be more “green” and sustainable. Imagine all the different ways to make food production more sustainable in your area. Look for other intersections around resources and you’ll find more opportunity.
3. Youth entrepreneurs
Look at all the different types of natural resources in your area. Now, how many of your high school students know anything about even a few of them? For regions working on youth entrepreneurship, it makes perfect sense to connect the future entrepreneurs to the opportunities in their local natural resources. When young people know what resources are in front of them, they can develop innovative projects to best work with them.
So, natural resources are a source of relevance, controversy and ongoing opportunity. What will your small town make of that?
P.S. If you manage multiple lines of income in your organization, I have a webinar coming up next week. No charge. Learn more here: Managing More Than One Business Without Going Crazy.