Rural Entrepreneurship

Pandemic sparks entrepreneurship for rural candlemaker

Middle school teacher Talia Waller started making her own organic candles for fun because the price point for similar products are so high in stores. In the early days of the pandemic, her candle-making hobby became a successful side hustle for Talia. These days, Catherine Ann’s Candles—named for Talia’s two grandmothers—is a thriving business with a storefront and bulk contracts with her local supermarket.

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Rural restaurant owner stays hopeful despite slow recovery from the pandemic

After working as a rescue specialist at a fire department in Mexico City for many years, Hector Chavez and his family moved to the United States so he could pursue certifications and advance his career. But 10 years later and out of opportunities to continue his passion, Hector decided to open Plaza Garibaldi, a Mexican restaurant in Soledad, Calif. 

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Georgia small business council member kombucha’d her way into the pandemic

Just six months after Suhyoon Wood concocted her very first batch of kombucha, she decided it was time to turn her passion project into her very own small business. When her signature recipe—a blend incorporating organic green tea and honey—gained popularity among her friends and community members, she launched Beejou Craft Kombucha: Columbus, Ga.’s first and only craft and brewery kombucha taproom. 

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Small business owner and advocate uses floral designs to highlight her Native American culture

The past year has stretched many households to their broadband limit with kids learning virtually and parents working remotely at the same time, but for rural small business owner Shayai Lucero, this isn’t a new challenge. 

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Immigrant entrepreneur weathers many storms to continue her design dreams

Daisy Bedoya was already struggling to make ends meet when the coronavirus pandemic forced her to close her business for a few months, leaving her with mounting debt. Graphx Designs and Concepts is a graphic design company that creates posters, LED light displays, window lettering and more in Largo, Florida. 

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Georgia business owner struggles to host her community’s celebrations amid global pandemic

In the midst of a global pandemic and a severe economic recession, entrepreneur Adriane Anderson was forced to rethink her retirement plan.

A Georgia native and a lover of hosting gatherings, Adriane Anderson opened her event venue Bless the Occasion just last year. She knew she wouldn’t be able to retire comfortably if she continued to rely on her income working at Publix, a grocery store chain, so she embarked on her journey as a small business owner in 2015. She purchased an old home in Stone Mountain, GA, and remodeled the facility—a process that took about four years to complete, as she had to navigate zoning changes and permit requirements. Her business hosts little girls' tea parties, etiquette classes, baby showers, birthdays and small events of up to 50 guests. 

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Rural entrepreneur patches together resources, despite being “sew” remote

When her brother was first deployed to Iraq, Candy Alford embroidered every piece of clothing he owned, from his socks to his washcloths, with his name so his things wouldn’t get misplaced in the group laundry. Not only were the name tags practical, but they garnered quite a few compliments from her brother’s fellow pilots, and he suggested she turn her hobby into a business.

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Washington State Microenterprise Association

The Washington State Microenterprise Association is an independent, non-profit organization that acts as a network of microenterprise organizations, professionals and advocates in the state of Washington. It's mission is to strengthen economic development systems that support the growth of strong and effective microenterprise development organizations through access to capital and micro-lending, job creation, business creation and expansion support and self-employment education and assistance, among other methods.