Does anyone care about rural society?
Well we know one thing for sure. Small cities, towns and rural communities are definitely concerned about their future. The lost of manufacturing, jobs, demographic shifts to urban centers and the decline in tourism is creating a major growth crisis for many small communities.
Students of the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, Fanshawe College, Research and Data Analysis course (third-year marketing program) developed the online survey to gather information from community leaders in Ontario. The questions in the survey related to rural economic development and tourism and the impact of changing behaviors of today’s youth related to these issues. Some of the results follow;
- 91% of communities have an interest in new media to market their community
- 83% find Geo-Adventures as very appealing
- 80% expressed strong interest in using technology to drive local economy
- 70.8% want to learn more about TecVana
- 62.3% identified they need help in developing social media programs that could be maintained locally or have 3rd party manage
- 36% wanted to outsource the total social media program
- Many expressed serious concerns about the demographic shifts, especially amongst the younger population
- There is strong interest in bringing rural society into the new age
- Interest in a new tourism model was overwhelming
Our biggest challenge is getting the support of FedDev to launch our program to drive economic change. FedDev clearly states that they are funded by Canada’s Economic Action Plan to support economic and community development, innovation and to diversify the southern Ontario economy. As you know, this is what TecVana is all about. TecVana brings together youth, technology, communities and academic sector to effect meaningful growth.
However, to get FedDev funding we need a term sheet from the angel investment community. We are currently in the process of making our pitch to the angel network but find them to be at total odds with the objectives of FedDev. Angel investors focus is not on the economy, communities, rural society, the outdoors, health and wellness, jobs, growth or the environment; they focus on how they can make money and what is the next killer app that can make this happen.
For us, technology is the enabler! We continue to push to get this message across.