The cream of the rural development crop

Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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Self-employment and small businesses are key to economic   vitality in rural America. But many rural entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business don't have the resources or tools to get started or develop a business plan. Is your community or state committing resources to rural   entrepreneurial development? Is your state backing the heaviest hitter in rural economic development, namely microenterprise? Would you like them to?  The Center for Rural Affairs has one of the most elite rural development programs in the nation, the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP). REAP is one of the largest rural entrepreneurial   development programs in the   nation. Currently REAP services are only available in Nebraska, but why shouldn't it be duplicated in other states? REAP's work centers around four components: technical assistance, lending, training, and networking. Just last year REAP   assisted 1,226 individuals, including 379 Latino entrepreneurs, with one or more of these business   development services. This past year 214 business plans have been completed and 353 jobs created   - jobs and businesses that generate income, new jobs and economic opportunity for the entire community.    REAP was also responsible for making 72 loans last year,   including 47 REAP Direct Loans totaling $474,691. And 25 of those loans helped leverage over $1,127,250 from other lending sources, thanks to the assistance of REAP. If you are interested in bringing rural entrepreneurial development to your community visit www.cfra.org/policy/micro or   contact the Center for Rural   Affairs for more information.  Elisha Greeley Smith Center for Rural Affairs