Rural Entrepreneurship – Experiential Learning – Drone Technology
Rural regions face significant challenges to economic growth; however, these regions are a necessary component of a diverse state and national economy. Higher-education institutions in rural regions are clearly important partners in regional economies, not only in terms of human development and technology transfer, but also in teaching entrepreneurship; a key component in economic development. Importantly, rural entrepreneurship is distinct from urban entrepreneurship because it cannot be divorced from its rural surroundings; rural communities have a necessary and protective relationship with nature that is symbiotic.
Through collaborative efforts with Business and Engineering colleagues, our research explores the extent to which drone technology can increase the variety of experiential learning activities when teaching rural entrepreneurship. So far our project has positively impacted our business education efforts, and we expect our project to positively impact the economic development of Allegany County.
I contribute to this innovative effort by analyzing FAA drone regulations, and creating experiential learning activities (legal, tax, and business management) to engage a student-run startup using drone technology to positively impact the various stakeholders in Allegany County in the following activities:
- Engineering research;
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach;
- Hobby use; and,
- Commercial use (Precision Agriculture; Construction; Inspection; and Photographic industries).
Drones have much to recommend them because of their low physical, and sustainable, positive impact on rural communities while providing significant scalable opportunities that naturally align with rural surroundings.