Making Entrepreneurship Accessible in Rural America


A special THANK YOU…

We could never recognize nor appropriately thank all the individuals who contributed to the planning, implementation, execution, and evolution of this statewide effort. This includes our ecosystem partners who graciously welcomed us into the mix, all the Penn State staff who worked, and continue to work, tirelessly behind the scenes to build programming, organize and run events, and manage the extensive marketing and budgetary tasks required to steward this cause, as well as community members and alumni who continue to give us time, expertise, and funding.

From the beginning this was an experiment in economic development and we would like to recognize key individuals who played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for the initiative including Madlyn Hanes, Neil Sharkey, Rick Brazier, James Delattre, Jeff Fortin, Nena Ellis, Tom Sharbaugh, Steve Brawley, Kevin Snider, and Lee Erickson. 

We also acknowledge contributions and support from the Chancellors, Directors, and staff at each location who worked diligently to launch new programs, build partnerships, and support their community entrepreneurs; our donor relations staff who stewarded critical relationships to help sustain our ability to support entrepreneur in Pennsylvania; and our amazing donors whose generous support led to five named locations, specifically PNC Bank, the Hite family, Pasco L. Schiavo, Esq., James R. Meehl, and the Greater Sharon Community.

And, of course, none of this could have happened without President Emeritus Eric J. Barron’s vision, leadership, and personal interest in engaging with and learning about entrepreneurs from across the commonwealth.
We also want to thank the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and especially Philip Gaskin, for the generous support and leadership they provided in helping to create access to opportunities that help people improve their lives. This work/research was funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of The Pennsylvania State University.

Finally, we want to acknowledge that the Pennsylvania State University campuses are located on the original homelands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Monongahela, Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, and Oklahoma), Susquehannock, and Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations. As a land-grant institution, we acknowledge and honor the traditional caretakers of these lands and strive to understand and model their responsible stewardship. We also acknowledge the longer history of these lands and our place in that history.