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Entrepreneurship Toolkit

As we have already learned, tourism is one of the major development strategies that communities can use to diversify their economies and improve quality of life. One of the best ways to do this is through entrepreneurship both at the community level and by individuals. This Toolkit is intended to provide a broad overview of entrepreneurship and how it bring benefits to your community. It will also help you learn more about business start-up whether you start a business yourself or advise others on how to begin.

In this toolkit, we will guide you through developing a better understanding of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs as well as what is involved with writing a business plan. You will continue to build your tools for developing tourism as an important and vibrant economic sector in your community. We include some resources specific to Colorado regarding business development because regulations and legal aspects can differ from state to state.

Note regarding using this toolkit: This toolkit consists of six different components. While we recommend that you go through all of these documents in the listed order, you may also feel free to skip around and visit the materials that are most relevant to your needs. Keep in mind that several of the other toolkits also contain information pertaining to entrepreneurship given the relevance of entrepreneurship in tourism market niches, so we encourage you to continue thinking about this topic as you move through these toolkits.

1. Part 1: Entrepreneurship in Tourism: To provide an understanding of what we mean by entrepreneurship and entrepreneur, this introduction looks at why entrepreneurship is important for rural communities and some definitions to get us all to the same place in our view of these concepts.

2. Part 2: Starting a Business: Coming up with a good idea and knowing what to do to get started with a business is described in this section. The purposes of a business plan are included. This is followed by the next section that provides a detailed outline of a business plan.

3. Part 3: The Business Plan: A business plan is a necessity when starting a business and should be updated on a regular basis. This section provides a detailed outline and several resources that are needed to do the plan.

  • Business Plan Outline: There are many formats for business plans. We have a suggested outline with some descriptions of content.
  • The Colorado Business Resource Book: This book published by the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network has a wealth of information to assist with writing a business plan.
  • Colorado Small Business Profile: The U.S. Small Business Administration provide small business profiles of every state. This can be useful when writing a business plan.
  • Colorado Micro Loans Program: A factsheet about the Colorado Micro Loans program which may provide a source of start-up money for a prospective business owner.

4. Part 4: Best Practices: This section summarizes some best practices in facilitating entrepreneurship in a community from the National Center for Small Communities that they gleaned from several case studies.

5. Case Studies – Colorado has some terrific examples of rural tourism right here at home.  

  • Case A – Fostering Entrepreneurship in Littleton. Although Littleton is proximate to Denver, the program that they developed to facilitate entrepreneurship also has applications to smaller communities.
  • Case B – Tomten Farm. Tomten Farm near Placerville is a good example of home grown entrepreneurship. It illustrates how an entrepreneur turned her passion into a business, that tourism encompasses a wide range of businesses, and that a good idea can take advantage of consumer trends.

6. Entrepreneurship Resource Guide: Links to several resources provide more information about entrepreneurship. Links are provided to organizations that have a rural development focus, including tourism.