New online network connects natural users

A new online networking website is connecting producers, consumers and researchers of small-scale natural resources

A new online networking website is connecting producers, consumers and researchers of small-scale natural resources.

The Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology at Royal Roads University launched the Rural Opportunities Network in October, in partnership with a number of other agencies from across the country.

Tim Brigham, project co-manager and co-ordinator for education and sector support for the centre, said the project’s focus is to provide information for and create awareness of small businesses focused on natural resources, on a variety of scales.

“This could be anything from non-timber forest product-based industries … right through to people doing small scale saw milling and even growing niche crops,” Brigham said. “Basically we’re trying to serve what we still see as an under-served area.”

The website allows businesses to register and share information about their business. Businesses, researchers or consumers can also search the network to connect with members across the country. Products either wanted or for sale can also be listed on the site.

Although it’s early days Brigham said quite a few businesses have signed up for the free service. The project reflects the mandate of the university to have practical, applicable projects, said Brigham. RRU hosts the website.

The network is national and bilingual to help include people and businesses in Quebec.

The crew at RRU took the project through research, development and working with a web designer to bring the idea to life. Advisors from across the country helped with the development of the idea, including small business owners.

Eric Whitehead owns Untamed Feast, a wild mushroom supplier based out of Crofton, and Wild Trader, an online classified platform for wild products. Whitehead helped with the network as an advisor and now uses it for business.

Whitehead said the new network will give greater opportunities for people in remote locations to develop natural resource based businesses and allow them to not have to move to a commercial centre to survive.

“The whole concept, which is pretty exciting, empowers people,” Whitehead said. “Just from seeing that there are all these opportunities and all these links to all these micro and small enterprises. …They can see some opportunity and they might choose to stay and better their community.”

To explore the network visit ruralnetwork.ca.

 

Just Posted

West Shore firefighters band together to support men’s health

More than $8,200 raised for Movember campaign

UPDATE: Four vehicle crash on Sooke Road snarls traffic in Colwood

Sooke Road reopens to traffic in both direction

Belmont students, staff reunite family with long-lost war medal

Medal belonged to Sharon Hoover’s great-great uncle

Students learn valuable lessons at the 10,000 Tonight food drive

Leadership students embrace community events at Royal Bay Secondary

Santa hits West Shore streets with local fire departments

Firefighters help to raise food and cash for a worthwhile cause

VIDEO: That’s a wrap: Be a Santa to a Senior packages ready to go out

Program hands out more than 600 gifts to Greater Victoria seniors

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Victoria cycling advocate makes pitch lor lower speeds on local roads

Group points to evidence suggesting 30 km/h speed limit would save money, lives

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Island entering the peak of flu season

Island Health says flu shots the best prevention against the virus

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read