rural

USDA reorganization of Rural Development concerns supporters

June 01, 2017

While U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that the Rural Development agency would be elevated under a reorganization plan because it would be placed under the direct oversight of the Secretary, not everyone is viewing the consolidation as an elevation.

Facing deindustrialization, smaller regions turn to innovation, workforce development

May 11, 2017

In a recent Digest article, SSTI covered research highlighting the oversized role that offshoring multinationals had in manufacturing employment decline from 1983 to 2011. During this time, deindustrialization and manufacturing unemployment had a profound impact on community approaches to economic development.

USDA Announces Launch of $100M Rural Business Investment Company

October 20, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of the McLarty Capital Partners’ Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) – a new private investment fund with the potential to inject $100 million into growth-oriented, small businesses across rural America. As the fifth RBIC to launch since 2014, McLarty Capital Partners’ RBIC is part of the Made in Rural America initiative, an ongoing effort by the Obama administration to attract private sector capital to investment opportunities in rural America and drive more economic growth in rural communities.

Recent Research: Broadband Availability and Rural Entrepreneurship

September 29, 2016

Because existing evidence points to the presence of broadband as having a positive connection to the economic health in rural areas, numerous states and the federal government have made increasing broadband in these places a top priority. In particular, many rural areas view broadband as an important tool in attracting entrepreneurs and other creative-class employees. Although this tactic is well intentioned, new research suggests that the association between expanded rural broadband availability and the proliferation of entrepreneurship and creative-class employees may not be as strong as one might think, and that the relationship may actually be negative.

Obama Administration Announces $66M via POWER Initiative

March 24, 2016

In partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the availability of $65.8 million in new funding through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative.

Recent Research: Best Practices in Rural Economic Development

December 03, 2015

Across the globe, the proliferation of innovation-led economic development is typically viewed in an urban context. Despite cities receiving the bulk of the attention, researchers have begun to focus on how to leverage best practices in rural economic development. Just as is the case in nearly all economic development scenarios, practitioners and policymakers working in rural areas benefit from a better understanding of local strengths and opportunities, according to new research from the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

TN Commits $8M to Support Rural Economic Development

October 22, 2015

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced a new fund to support economic development in rural parts of the state. While most of the $8 million (approximately $7 million) is designated for shovel-ready economic development sites and tourism projects, the state will commit $600,000 for economic development grants to support entrepreneurship in small towns across the state including $300,000 to support a Main Street Business Incubator Program for downtown business districts.

Tennessee Announces Investment to Establish 100 Ag-Tech Businesses by 2020

September 03, 2015

Tennessee leaders hope to raise $10 million in public and private funding over the next five years to support an effort to attract 200 agricultural technology entrepreneurs and establish 100 ag-tech businesses by 2020. USDA Rural Development and the Tennessee Department of Agricultural recently announced they would seed that effort by contributing $220,000 to AgLaunch, a program to aid early-stage ag-tech companies. Memphis Bioworks Foundation will lead the initiatives, providing mentoring and programming opportunities for entrepreneurs. The program will begin in 2016.

USDA Announces Investments in Projects to Support Rural Prosperity, Facilitate Private Investments

August 06, 2015

Last week, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) held a special meeting that include approximately 100 investors and venture capitalists to help stimulate private sector investments in rural infrastructure projects with the potential to spur economic development in small towns and rural communities across the country. Through its U.S.

USDA, Private VCs Raising $125M for Rural Startups

May 07, 2015

Two private venture firms have committed to raising a total of $125 million to invest in rural, early stage startups under the Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Investment Program. The program was launched last April, when Advantage Capital Partners launched the first $150 million Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) fund.

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