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A Different World

The Amish plow into entrepreneurship

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This story appears in the February 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sam Stoltzfus doesn't rely on a computer in his business. Indeed, Stoltzfus doesn't even have a telephone-at least, not in his shop. But the 52-year-old business owner, who crafts bazebos and storage sheds, isn't unusual by his community's standards. That's because Stoltzfus is one of a growing number of Amish entrepreneurs.

"When I was going to school, I could count on one hand all the Amish [business owners] who were making a living from their shops," says the Gordonville, Pennsylvania, entrepreneur, who opened his Irshtown Shop more than 10 years ago. "It used to be thought impossible that a man could make a living [this way]."

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