© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69ef90000WKSU undertakes a year-long examination of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio with a 360-degree look at business creation in the region and examine the resources available to start-ups, the opportunities, and pitfalls in the local business climate. The project includes long-form features as part of WKSU's ongoing Exploradio series as well as entrepreneurship-themed news reports.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69efb0000The Entrepreneurship Beat is produced with generous support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Burton D. Morgan Foundation champions the entrepreneurial spirit, contributes to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, and leads in the burgeoning field of entrepreneurship education. Read more about the project HERE.

Amish Entrepreneurship Keeps Holmes County's Unemployment Rate Among the Lowest in Ohio

Back of a horse buggy
Max Pixel
Creative Commons
Holmes County is the heart of Amish Country.

Holmes County, the heart of Amish Country, consistently continues to have one of  lowest unemployment rates in the state. Entrepreneurship Intern Emma Keating reports on what sets the county apart.

Holmes County’s unemployment rate in May was 2.9 percent, the second lowest in the state -- lower than neighboring counties and the state average of 4.3 percent.

Shasta Mast is the executive director of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. She has one explanation.

“Entrepreneurship," she says.

Mast says the Amish community makes up about half of Holmes’ 43,000 residents, and for them, starting businesses is a way of life.

“Our residents have an entrepreneurial spirit that is really unparalleled and they just steadily innovate. When they see a need, they strive to find a way to fill it. And as a result, we have so very many locally grown businesses," she says. 

Mast says these businesses are often cash-based, and grow conservatively, without taking on debt. This steady expansion helps them avoid the ups and downs of economic cycles.