Entrepreneurship plus teamwork can drive economy

Mining can create the next big boom to the economy of the Copper County, but it won’t come from digging minerals from the ground. It will come from mining the collective mind of its resident entrepreneurs. There is gold between those ears.

There are entrepreneurs all over the greater Copper Country region, and with the establishment of a local chapter of the 1 Million Cups program in Hancock earlier this month, they all have a place to mix and get their collective juices flowing, which only bodes well for the region’s economy.

Even if you start with a great idea, it takes a lot of time and toil — a million cups of coffee — to make that idea profitable. That time can be reduced by commisserating, pitching, brainstorming and collaborating with like-minded entrepreneurs who know what you’re going through, understand your situation and can offer valuable advice to boost your progress.

Most businesses in the Copper Country are small businesses, owned and operated by residents, and every small business owner is an entrepreneur to a certain degree. When like-minded individuals put their heads together in the spirit of teamwork and cooperation, everybody wins.

At this new group’s meetings, local entrepreneurs will present their business ideas to community members.

“The focus here is to help educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs,” said Jason Mack of the MTEC SmartZone, which has for several years now been laying the groundwork to promote local economic development.

Most of the copper is gone from the ground, but the region has the basic infrastructure for modern economic growth in place — a world-class technological university with advanced resources churning out hundreds of engineers and entrepreneurs each year, and an established network of owner-operated businesses.

Maybe 1 Million Cups can act as a catalyst to mix all that brain power and entrepreneurial spirit, from Covington to Copper Harbor, from Silver City to Three Lakes, into a potent fuel to supercharge the greater Copper Country’s economy.