A coworking space southwest Indiana city is helping Millennials contemplate a long-term future in their hometown. Courtney Knies Ball, community coordinator at Current Blend in Huntingburg, believes the space is helping younger members of the community embrace entrepreneurship.
"People are no longer just coming back when they are ready to raise a family in their thirties. They don’t think ‘Oh I can’t wait until I graduate from high school so I don’t have to live here," says Knies Ball. "The Dubois County of 10 years ago is not the Dubois County that it is today. We are trying to remain relevant so that we can continue to grow, and continue to have a thriving community that it has been for many generations."
Current Blend has 20 active members, but Knies Ball says the coworking space has seen around 60 members since its inception over two years ago.
Launch Indiana General Manager Jason Whitney says Current Blend is the beneficiary of strong leadership and backing from elected officials, specifically Huntingburg Mayor Dennis Spinner. Spinner has helped paved the way for Current Blend to succeed in the rural community of just over 6,000 by partnering with innovative entrepreneurs to provide opportunities for kids.
Whitney, who is responsible for helping communities around the state open coworking spaces from the ground up, says Current Blend is the perfect example of why rural communities need to involve youth.
"More rural communities need to do that because those kids grew up in Huntingburg. They love Huntingburg. They want to raise their kids in Huntingburg. This allows them the opportunity to do that but still have the careers that they strive for," said Whitney.
According to Knies Ball, Current Blend’s biggest success story is the fact that people in the community are beginning to talk about entrepreneurship.
"Our goal right now is for entrepreneurship to become a dinner conversation," said Knies Ball. "We’ve got people talking about their ideas and starting to dream."