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The Power of Entrepreneurial Development Systems

Mark Marich

Several years ago, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided grants to six rural regions to begin an effort to develop local entrepreneurial development systems, which were designed to provide a range of support services to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing businesses. The Aspen Institute has recently published an evaluation of these pilot projects.

The study finds that the demonstration projects, located in Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and West Virginia, helped “change the conversation” about economic development in their regions. Local leaders now recognize the critical importance of entrepreneurship to regional prosperity. The projects were also successful in expanding local entrepreneurship education programs, and in building a more positive political, regulatory, and community environment for local entrepreneurs.

Report: "Revitalizing Rural Economies through Entrepreneurial Development Systems" by Elaine L. Edgcomb, Joyce A. Klein, and David Black

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