Making Entrepreneurship Accessible in Rural America
An experiment in ecosystem building.
Without a tested template or widely accepted solution—and with an emphasis on new over existing—the initiative was, from the start, an experiment designed to reveal new approaches to supporting entrepreneurship at the local level.
In short, as is often said in entrepreneurial circles, we were building the airplane while flying.
It didn’t take long before we began to see common challenges emerge across this broad spectrum of approaches, which required some action on our part.
Dive deeper into challenges that emerged early in the ecosystem building process.
- Partnering opportunities differed more than expected
- Staffing approaches varied greatly and staff were unsure how to get started
- Downtown locations created many unforeseen challenges
- Institutional processes slowed progress
- The language of entrepreneurship was neither understood nor inclusive
- The public and potential partners were unsure about what we were doing and why
Learn more about lessons learned and recommendations.