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Rural Community Economic Sustainability and Global Competitiveness

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What is your community doing to help your citizens connect with meaningful participation in the rapidly growing global information society and economy?

Rural “Greencollar” Workers: Throughout last year’s Butte Economic Summit multiple keynoters remarked on the new opportunities the Internet offers: “Now that rural Montanans can now use Ecommerce to tap into global markets and can telework from anywhere the rural impacts will be dramatic.”  Supplementing family incomes using Internet is becoming increasingly widespread though the majority of rural citizens do not know where to go to learn how to do this. Montana’s greatest untapped alternative energy resource is the Montanans!

Being rural shouldn’t mean being unaware of best practices for using Internet for rural sustainability when it is so easy and cost effective to put training and mentoring services, online. Affordable online distance learning and mentoring opportunities, for all ages, are profound, cost effective, and desperately needed. Sharing success stories and online mentors is common sense.

It will be what rural Americans learn to actually DO with broadband that will determine their level of global competitiveness and benefits. The two articles below are strongly recommended reading....

The Rural Broadband Challenge: Use It - E-commerce successes in rural Montana

Health I.T, Rural Broadband, and Common Sense

Today's "new economy" is knowledge-based, entrepreneurial, and globally competitive to an extent that was almost unimaginable even a decade ago. Education is the key to the 21st century, both in terms of economic prosperity and personal achievement. The rising prices of oil and food are impacting rural sustainability and reassessing the role of Internet for access to essential services, education, online shopping, and home-based ecommerce and telework is timely.

Connected Nation has statewide grassroots broadband awareness and adoption campaigns in six states. Reports at their site detail the opportunities: www.connectednation.com

The Asian Pacific Economic Council (APEC ) held a conference in Tokyo March 2008 for 21 nations to exchange rural telecenter training strategies. The U. S. is 17th in broadband deployment. http://lone-eagles.com/tokyo-report.htm Montana case studies: http://lone-eagles.com/social-engineering.htm Best Practices http://lone-eagles.com/apecfinalreport.pdf


Celebrating Montana’s E-entrepreneurs

Literally every rural community in Montana has local ecommerce and telework success stories, but they are too often unknown, even by the locals. Our opportunity is to acknowledge and share such successes and to provide support for more such E-successes, statewide.

Did you know:
1. 86% of all new jobs come from micro-enterprises with under 12 employees
2. Montana has more micro-enterprises than any other state - one in seven Montanan homes run some kind of home business
3. Online shopping is growing 20% per year, and micro-enterprises are growing at the same rate.
4. Montana has more rural broadband than most rural states, with new technologies promising greater access in the short term.

Montana Ecommerce Successes:
Recommending a Montana Ecommerce Support Network:
A letter to Governor Schweitzer http://lone-eagles.com/support-montanans.htm

Below are examples of rural Montana Ecommerce successes. There are hundreds of examples like these, and there could easily be thousands.

1. In Plentywood a fellow inherited a junked car lot and began selling used car parts on eBay - he made $200,000 and is now brokering parts from other such "junk lots."

2. In Malta, Roy Martinez averages over $10,000/month selling Western replicas related to Clint Eastwood Westerns: http://spaghettiwesternreplicas.com/

3. In Cutbank, Ron Ridesatthedoor sells alfalfa as bunny food www.sunroadsfarmory.com to supplement his farm income. He was elected commissioner of Glacier county and created his own wireless Internet business.

4.In Wolfpoint, Mr. Trinder created www.nativeamericanjobs.com four years ago, he now averages $4000/month

5. After Lone Eagle train-the-trainers sessions in Wolfpoint, MT, Fall 2007, for the Fort Peck community ecommerce incubator grant http://lone-eagles.com/fort-peck.htm , local trainers taught youth how to create their own free ecommerce pages complete with affiliate programs with Amazon.com and Walmart which return commissions of 10-17% for items purchased online. See "Rez Bread" at http://snarf2000.tripod.com/  

Web-raisings were held where attendees created free ecommerce sites in less than an hour using the tutorial at http://lone-eagles.com/tutorial.htm  Web-Raising events have been conducted in multiple communities and for MT's SBDC directors. Montanan Ecommerce Successes are listed at http://lone-eagles.com/ecommerce-successes.htm and at http://lone-eagles.com/montana-successes.htm

6. In New Mexico, Navajo youth created http://lickitysplitchocolate.com/ and received 44,000 orders just last month. More:

A Smart Community Self-Quiz:

 1. ___Y/N    Does Your Community Have a Local Web Business Directory?
Are all local business web sites listed on one web page to support local online shopping and to generate awareness as to which local businesses are now doing business on the global Internet? If not, your local youth can create one if you ask them to.

SEE the Bethel, Alaska Business Directory
http://www.deltadiscovery.com/Shopping/shoppingalpha.html An elegantly functional business directory to facilitate local and regional online shopping. All local businesses are displayed on one page with all businesses with web sites easily identified by their names as blue hyperlinks.

Resources to support local youth action initiatives:
http://lone-eagles.com/youth.htm  http://lone-eagles.com/rural-grant-templates.htm

2.  ___Y/N   Does Your Local Media (newspaper, radio, TV) celebrate local Ecommerce success stories?   (Regarded as competing media, such stories are often suppressed.)

SEE Bethel, Alaska’s Online Newspaper
http://www.deltadiscovery.com Citizens regularly share their news on this regional community network. One can quickly see than many citizens are directly involved in regularly generating local news for this community information site.

SEE Caithness, Scotland SEE the video:
http://www.caithness.org  This rural community makes sure all local businesses receive help establishing an ecommerce web presence. This rural community truly "owns" the responsibility to make this informational site a true reflection of the community's spirit and citizenry.

3. ___Y/N   Does Your Community Support Local E-entrepreneurs?
Are local Ecommerce support businesses listed online on a community web site where anyone can easily find the expertise they need to bring their business online?
Are local experts and community mentors celebrated for the value they bring to the community and engaged in local peer mentoring programs? Are your youth being taught E-entrepreneurship and how they can become a part of your community’s future?
http://lone-eagles.com/fcc2008.htm  http://lone-eagles.com/entrelinks2008.htm  A simple local mentoring program is described at http://lone-eagles.com/mentoring-mission.htm

5.___Y/N  Does Your Community Know About Free Online Ecommerce Training Resources, and Free Ecommerce Web Sites?

A Beginner's Guide to Profiting from the Internet
http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm  Lesson one includes an overview listing of many other Ecommerce online courses and resources. Free

Ecommerce sites tutorial

6. ___Y/N  Would Your Community Benefit from Ongoing Access to the Best E-success stories from other Rural Communities, local action plans and online training resources?

Broadband Training Best Practices:

Extensive free resources, grant templates, online lessons, rural success stories and more.

Go to
www.searchme.com enter “Frank Odasz” Click “Select All”  for the easiest way
to see dozens of resources available at no cost.

Contact: Frank Odasz  PH/Fax: 406 683 6270, Email: frank@lone-eagles.com or go to  http://lone-eagles.com

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