Is there a thriving entrepreneurial community where you live?

What makes one place seem to have an entrepreneurial spirit and another not?

We asked entrepreneurs in our Public Insight Network and, naturally, the answers add up to a complicated weave. Respondents cited factors like support from local shoppers, people with ideas that fill a niche, perhaps a handful of like-minded start-ups that create a market, local government or non-profit expertise and, of course, money.

Steve Piragis said Ely definitely shows an entrepreneurial spirit. “Ely has a very aggressive group of canoe trip outfitters who are extremely competitive. We all work hard for market share and we all do quite well. They are mostly innovative and willing to risk to market.”

Rick Morris said he finds the attitude “casual” in Waseca. “Years ago real entrepreneurial people made this town expand” but the lions of an earlier day are missing — Edgar Johnson, who founded radio giant E.F. Johnson, Wayne “Bumps” Brown, who created Brown Printing, and George Herter, the flamboyant businessman behind Herter’s outdoor and mail-order firm.

“Today these businesses are either gone or sold to national or international concerns,” Morris said. “We have other entrepreneurs in town who keep this town alive but I can’t say it’s due to a fostering environment.”

Check out what others told us.

What do you think?

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