The Internet and Non-Profit Organizations Have Aided Rural Businesspeople With Start-Ups
ABC News | By WADE HILLIGOSS | June 20. 2010
Five years ago, Katrina Frey wanted to make a little extra money, so she started cooking up homemade gourmet jellies and syrups. Then she sold them out of the back of her van at a farmer's market in western Nebraska. She made $5,000 in her first year of business.
Today, after taking her venture online and moving to a building on Main Street in the small town of Stapleton, the mother of three whose husband is a farmer now grosses $50,000 a year.
John Marquis started his entrepreneurial journey four years ago in the basement of his Ogallala, Neb., home, recreating a vintage men's fragrance. Today, six online vendors sell his Ogallala Bay Rum aftershave and cologne to customers in 50 states and 31 countries.
Marquis and Frey are rural entrepreneurs who have created thriving businesses despite the bleak economy and their out-of-the-way locations. They're not the only ones. From 2008 to 2009, the number of self-employed Americans increased by 200,000 to 8.9 million, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas, a Chicago outplacement firm.