When asked to develop a marketing strategy to reverse the economic decline in his hometown, St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Jeremy Barham's research showed an all too familiar trend: small rural towns waiting forever for a big company to create new jobs which would keep people from moving away for work, while those who stay, sink deeper into poverty.
He suggested the municipality take a different approach – create an environment that proactively supports new small businesses, boosting the local economy by turning the innate productivity of local residents into jobs.But, despite discovering a surprising number of people that loved the idea of self-employment, and were competent practitioners, there was a key element missing in their community: practical, accessible, affordable business training.
Designed by Jeremy and implemented in collaboration with Vibrant Communities Charlotte County, ‘Business Bootcamp’, is a basic skills training program that engages successful local business people with aspiring entrepreneurs. Using a flipped classroom model with video instruction, Business Bootcamp is now empowering ordinary local people to become self-employed, lifting them out of poverty and creating jobs, one at a time.
In this session, Jeremy Barham and Vibrant Communities Charlotte County's Joy Benson, talk about the ins-and-outs of Business Bootcamp as a replicable, scalable model of collaborative poverty reduction and local economic development, as well as lessons for involving the business sector in your work.
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