New Businesses, Entrepreneurship, and Rural Development: State Policies and Generating Rural Growth from Within

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Report aims to describe four objectives of a multiyear and multistate project from the Council of Governors’ Policy Advisors surrounding rural entrepreneurship.

Objectives are: 1) to create a data base while contributing to the broader understanding of the characteristics of rural entrepreneurs, their business ventures, and the opportunities and barriers they face; 2) to test and refine further a methodology for completing research on rural entrepreneurs and their new businesses that could be applied in other rural settings and that could address a wide range of policy issues; 3)Third, to support tithe four groups of gubernatorial-appointed state policymakers as they worked to use the project’s findings to supplement or to create more effective development strategies that could serve the needs and meet the unique conditions facing their rural areas; 4) to disseminate the study’s findings and conclusions and to assist a wider audience of rural development policymakers to assess and apply the appropriate lessons. Project conducted in Arkansas, Maine, North Dakota, and Iowa in tandem with a team of advisors that were appointed by each state’s governor.

The remainder of this report reviews the project’s conclusions and impacts. Chapter 1 includes an overview of the project design and research methods. Chapter 2 presents the conclusions that are drawn from the secondary data analysis. Chapter 3 highlights results from interviews with rural entrepreneurs. Chapter 4 summarizes the policy program recommendations made to the participating states as a result of the project. It also reviews some of the then continuing activates taken by the participating states-either independently or through their application of this information.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group