Making Entrepreneurship Accessible in Rural America
We’re still learning but have had some insights.
After seven years, 21 different locations, and thousands of hours supporting entrepreneurs across Pennsylvania, a number of lessons learned have emerged—some expected, and others not.
While we are still learning, we hope that these initial lessons will add to the growing body of literature for those navigating the complex problem of spurring economic development for their towns, regions, and states.
For those supporting rural entrepreneurs.
We have worked to create a playbook that provides actionable advice to community leaders, entrepreneurs, residents, leaders of institutions, elected officials, and those who want to play a role in uplifting, growing, and building thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Many of these critical actions echo best practices from other organizations and individuals working to build thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Others shed light on how large institutions can be more responsive to the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners in small rural communities.
We believe that states with large rural populations, especially those in America’s heartland, can benefit from and adapt these lessons learned to spur economic development for their communities.
Dive deeper into the eight critical actions that are foundational for building entrepreneurial ecosystems that support rural communities.
- Start with engaged leadership
- Encourage and reward experimentation
- Look for common gaps in services and start there
- Provide centralized support to promote growth and scaling
- Bring an inclusive lens to everything you do
- Avoid couching success through traditional economic development metrics
- Focus on sustainability early
- Focus on culture, not physical space
Read a special note from the Kauffman Foundation about the value of the Playbook.