Building Infrastructure for Community Economic Development

Steve Padgitt, Faculty, Sociology


Increasingly, policy makers and local leaders are recognizing and emphasizing the importance of local entrepreneurial support to advance economic development in rural communities. In part, this has been prompted by the reduction in opportunities for rural communities to attract externally owned and managed firms.


To increase entrepreneurial activities and reduce poverty in three targeted northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota communities by sponsoring/co-sponsoring educational events, support activities and local resources for entrepreneurialism.


Jane Goeken, northwest field specialist lead, in conjunction with Beverlyn Allen, campus, and the Northwest Area Foundation's (NWAF) Horizons program:


Working groups for increased community capital has been formed, are active, and have energized each community. Among the new groups are ones addressing skill and interpersonal support for local entrepreneurs. Supporters and participants of the Horizons program were also persons active in one community's successful bid for a high competitive gaming license. This achievement has led to increased interest in new businesses.

121-- Adding Value and Enhancing Agricultural Products

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