“Amish see the recession as a challenge and a blessing” by Allison Linn at msnbc.com is a well-done article about the northern Indiana Amish economic situation which shows anecdotal evidence of elevated entrepreneurial activity in the community.
This includes the increased presence of Amish vendors at an annual woodworking exhibition as well as established entrepreneurs reporting greater interest from would-be businesspeople. Interest in business loans is apparently up among Amish as well.
The region, heavily dependent on the RV industry, has been walloped by the recession.
In March, the area recorded an unemployment rate–at nearly 19%–over twice national levels. Unemployment remains high. The most recent numbers I can find–from June–show Elkhart County at 16.8%, and Lagrange at 15.8%.
Yet Amish seem to be making out alright. “Of all the people that got laid off, I can’t think of one Amish person I know that is out of a job and is at a place where he doesn’t know what to do,” says one Amish informant in the article.
Reliance on the wisdom of experienced mentors is one key reason for success among Amish businesses.
Other recent posts on the northern Indiana Amish: