The things that make us different, those are our superpowers” – Lena Waithe

Every economy has something special that sets it apart from the rest, and rural economies are no exception. Whether it’s a key industry like seafood, agriculture, or forestry, or something more unique like tourism, rural economies have certain individual characteristics that can be a source of strength—if they are leveraged properly. Let’s take a look at how we can use our “superpower” to drive innovation in rural economies and uncover hidden growth opportunities.

How to Identify Your Superpower

The first step in any process is identifying what makes your economy unique. This means asking yourself the right questions: What industries are thriving? What resources do you have access to? Are there any unique selling points that make this area stand out from others? These unique aspects can be several things including geography, infrastructure, talent, etc. Once you have identified your superpower (or superpowers!), you can start thinking about how to best leverage them.

Harnessing Your Superpower

Now that you know what makes your economy special, it’s time to start using it to drive innovation. This could include introducing new technologies into traditional industries or launching initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and risk-taking in new startups. It could also mean establishing partnerships with other organizations that are doing similar work in other areas or even internationally. No matter what approach you take, the goal should always be to uncover hidden opportunities for growth and expansion.

Creating Impact

When harnessing your superpower, it’s important to think beyond just financial gain and consider how your efforts can create positive social impact as well. Think in terms of collective impact. For example, if you are driving innovation into a specific industry, think about ways that your efforts can help create jobs or improve the quality of life in your community. Also, think of how different parts of the community can collaborate to create exponential impact. If you are encouraging entrepreneurship among local startups, consider ways that their businesses can benefit the environment or give back to their local communities. By looking beyond just profits and considering how our efforts can create broader positive change, we can ensure that our innovations will leave lasting legacies for generations to come.

By creating an innovation-driven approach in all aspects of our communities and industries, we can open up tremendous opportunities for everyone. I believe this includes better job prospects for youth, increased diversity within businesses, more economic gain, and the potential to make a real impact with projects that serve the common good. Innovation can help us turn ideas into solutions that benefit everyone – now is the perfect time to embrace it!

Harnessing our superpowers in our communities and as entrepreneurs is an incredibly powerful way of driving innovation in rural economies and uncovering hidden growth opportunities. By taking the time to identify our strengths and leveraging them strategically, we can not only reap rewards financially but also create meaningful social impact within our communities. So don’t let your key industries become an Achilles heel—keep pushing forward with creative solutions and innovative ideas so that together, we can build better futures for ourselves and future generations!

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