I had a conversation with a friend a couple of weeks back about what we are doing at Localswitch – We talked about a town close to us who have recently set up a LocalSwitch Association. The Borrisokane LSA have given us a mandate to help them create 50 jobs, with a population of 1200 people. He found it hard to believe that something like this was possible in the current economic environment. To tell you the truth, this is something we are hearing a lot at Localswitch.
Five layers of local job creation
Well as they say, a picture paints a thousand words, so we’ve made an infographic to help explain how this might happen. The basic idea is as follows: Firstly, the community appoints a local catalyst, which eventually becomes the first paying job, as this person initiates projects which saves the community money, and helps develop and deploy these projects on the ground. The first round of enterprises do not create many jobs themselves, since they need to be more easily deployable projects which run themselves, such as a hydro energy CO-OP. However, as the community gets used to implementing successful projects, the real job making enterprises get started, in the third layer of job creation; the worker owned CO-OPs. This builds the foundation for the establishment of a local enterprise hub, which is currently happening at Cloughjordan. This hub allows people to work remotely, or use shared tooling to begin small scale enterprises themselves without the up front investment cost. Finally, as time goes on, more indirect jobs get created in the supporting sectors, such as tourism, legal and accounting, among many others. These are the five layers of job creation, which work together to make up the numbers, with each layer supporting the next.
Imitate or innovate?
We try to stick to projects and enterprises where there a lots of successful existing examples around the world, but that doesn’t mean communities cannot come up with creative ideas by themselves, or blend the imitation of existing examples with new ideas – Immovation! Did I just invent a new word?
See the infographic full size here