Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Virtual Frontier - Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs

Some people I know out here are great. That's just it. There are so many people who are just fantastic, and trying to really make a difference in their world. Betty Buckley and her staff are such folks out here in the Inland Northwest. Shop the frontier.org is one such organization--they are trying to make a difference, and THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Go to: http://www.Shopthefrontier.org
Run by the non-profit, Stone Soup, and its director, Betty Buckley, I think it's a fantastic testimony of perseverance, attitude, and economic saavy. Betty and staff do a wonderful job promoting our tiny neck of the woods--and the artists, craftspeople, and artisans that live in this rural place.

Last Friday, I was invited by Betty to attend a meeting with a possible funder--a site visit. I was happy to do so. I hope the funder was receptive to all that Ferry County has to offer, and all that Stone Soup is doing for economic development in this ultra-rural community. If you don't know what Shop The Frontier is, please see their website http://www.shopthefrontier.org
Here is some information from their website:

The Virtual Frontier evolved from Stone Soup, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1999 by sisters Jody and Betty Buckley to help rural women in the Pacific Northwest. They designed programs intended to boost rural communities and the women who reside in them. Stone Soup’s mission is to assist women through organizational, individual and community capacity-building projects. For seven years Stone Soup has been providing capacity building grants, training, and technical assistance to organizations and communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Stone Soup’s programs have reached nearly 250,000 men and women. Two invaluable lessons were learned through this extensive work in rural communities: The first is that in order to genuinely serve women in a rural community, one must serve the community as a whole. The second lesson is that entrepreneurial success is the key to moving individuals and communities out of poverty. These lessons have shaped Stone Soup’s focus all across the board--from grant making to the hands-on development of entrepreneurs and the systems that support their businesses. In 2001, Stone Soup began working in Ferry County, WA through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant made it possible for Stone Soup to begin planning and promoting micro-enterprise in small communities. A team of Economic Development and community professionals was formed to brainstorm and solidify the project that became The Virtual Frontier.

To contact Shop the Frontier:
Shop the Frontier600 S Clark Ave #3PO Box 1019
Republic, WA 99166phone:
(877) 807-7278 or (509) 775-3217 for local calls
email: info@shopthefrontier.com

1 comment:

dehoang said...

That's so great that men/
women entrepreneurs are trying to make a difference in the world by supporting the rural entrepreneurs.