The entrepreneurial spirit in Lancaster

Sam Manning

Staff Writer 

Lancaster County has long been a hotbed for the entrepreneurial spirit. The first ones in the area were farmers- taking advantage of the county’s rich soil and natural irrigation. From those farmers rose engineers, who saw the problems in the daily lives of the farmers and sought to find solutions.

As Lancaster grew, so did the work force. The local brands like New Holland Tractor and Armstrong World Industries took advantage of this influx of workers and expanded nationally, then internationally.

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Although it has seen its ups and downs, Lancaster is seeing a revitalization through the entrepreneurial spirit of its citizens. Not only is Lancaster a huge concentration of B-Corporation certified businesses, it is also seeing larger scale revitalization in the 101 NQ project that will house Cargas’s new headquarters.

From food trucks to digital marketing agencies, businesses have sprung up and are thriving in their new locations downtown. Residents are taking advantage of AirBnb during the summer when they know tourists are coming in to earn some extra money. No matter the size of the feat, more and more residents are using their personal drive to make the county a better place.

Our county’s assistance to entrepreneurs has been a major impact of the local economy. Lancaster boasts a number of groups and organizations whose sole purpose is to help small businesses in the area. Non profits like Assets and resources such as SCORE help entrepreneurs from any point in their corporate timeline from conception to maturity.

SCORE is a non-profit organization that connects retired executives with entrepreneurs to offer advice free of charge. Mentors can assist with finances, business decisions, and give insight from their extensive careers in business to push their mentees to the next level. The SCORE chapter in Lancaster county has grown exponentially the past decade to accommodate the growing number of startups.

Assets in Lancaster and the Lancaster City Alliance have also teamed up to create the Lancaster Entrepreneurship Coalition, which helps to facilitate between non-profit, for profit, and government entities specifically to help entrepreneurs in the county.

By gaining a better understanding the needs of local entrepreneurs, the Lancaster Entrepreneurship Coalition seeks to leverage resources within the county to expand the coalition members’ work,  to increase the impact of the local business community. If one thing is true about entrepreneurs in Lancaster, its that they have a strong sense of pride for their community. Entrepreneurs in the area want to give back to the community that allowed them to find their niche.

If you have a business idea, now is the time to start. No idea is too small- the entrepreneurial spirit thrives where simplifying and fixing problems in a person’s daily life. If you are interested in learning about starting a business, the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center has resources to connect you to a SCORE mentor and get the ball rolling.