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Martin-Butts-Small-PotatoesLet me start by saying thank you to the team at Startup Weekend Butte for bringing me out to Montana to share some of my experiences not only starting my own business, but also working with startups all over the country. I know how much work goes into putting events like this on, and the team, as well as Butte as a whole, has made me feel welcome at every turn. Starting a new business can be daunting, and it’s inspiring to see a group of committed individuals doing all they can to support new businesses in their community.

I feel grateful every day that I’ve been able to carve out my own corner of economic sustainability, doing work I love, especially at a time when most metrics were showing that the economy was failing so many people. While big businesses nationwide announce layoffs, cutbacks, and closings one week, and then record profits the next, Americans across the country have been left to fend for themselves in a quickly changing landscape.

And fend for ourselves we have. By starting our own businesses and hiring our neighbors. When the economy left us behind, we’ve built a new economy. An economy where sharing resources is more important than exploiting them. Where experience and a sense of place matter more than finding the cheapest price no matter what the true cost.

As this new economy has emerged, so has a shift in cultural perceptions about the economy. People are realizing that big businesses aren’t the ones creating the majority of jobs in our towns and cities, but that those jobs are being created by small businesses and startups. People are are looking to work with small locally owned businesses because they can see the evidence that doing so is an important part of the solution to improve our communities. We can’t wait around for someone else to solve our problems, and we don’t need to. The solutions are right there in front of us, so long as we have the tools we need to seize them.

Startup Weekend Butte is an opportunity to get an intensive education on the tools needed to take a hold of your future, and I hope that by sharing some of my experiences and trends from the new economy, attendees will be inspired to redefine what success is and how they can achieve it.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon. And if you haven’t gotten yourself registered yet, DO IT!


Martin Butts
Local Foods Advocate
Small Potatoes

Small Potatoes is celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary!


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Nathan Stephens