NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED536040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
The Juneau County Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club Experience: Catch the Culture! Rural Research Report. Volume 21, Issue 4, Fall 2010
Whipple, Terry
Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
Working from the premise that innovation and entrepreneurship will thrive if cultivated in a supportive environment, the Juneau County Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) introduced a "club concept" as a key component of its strategic plan. The Wisconsin-based development corporation created the Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club (I&E Club) to restore a culture of rural entrepreneurship that through the years had largely been ignored. With very enthusiastic energetic participants, "Catch the Culture" quickly became the slogan spread by club participants. Changing the local culture, attitude, and approach to economic development is at the core of the local club concept in Juneau County, which has a population of about 27,000. Historically, the county had consistently ranked among the five counties in the state with the highest unemployment rates. Over time, the county economy evolved to depend primarily on a few manufacturers (concentrated in the electronic assembly and stainless steel metal fabrication industries) as key employers. In 2000 and 2001, three of these plants closed, displacing nearly 1,500 workers, which further aggravated the already depressed economy. Juneau County has since broken out of the lowest tier of the state's unemployment rankings, a clear advance that surprised even state economists. Juneau County is experiencing a more diversified local economy through entrepreneurship strategies. Other depressed counties can learn from this experience, and this report describes strategies used by the JCEDC.
Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs. Western Illinois University, 518 Stipes Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455. Tel: 309-298-2637; Fax: 309-298-2142; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Western Illinois University, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin