Homegrown: Entrepreneurship in your Community—An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Curriculum
See proposal abstract
Principal Investigator: Tessa Conroy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Co-Principal Investigator: Sarah A. Low, University of Missouri
Research and outreach on entrepreneurship in regional economic development indicates weak entrepreneurial networks in much of rural America. This problem is especially acute in regions that have traditionally relied on business attraction and retention as a rural economic development strategy, as have Wisconsin and Missouri. The proposed program aims to create a supportive network in rural areas, so that when entrepreneurs are considering starting a business they get supportive signals from key community leaders. The principal output from this grant will be the development and piloting of an Extension curriculum, “Homegrown: Entrepreneurship in your Community.” The proposed Extension program taps the new and rapidly growing body of research on entrepreneurial ecosystems and uses it to create a customizable curriculum that aims to grow entrepreneurial networks in rural areas, and consequently, foster rural economic development. A secondary output from this grant will be the development of a USDA NIFA AFRI integrated grant proposal to the “Innovation for Rural Entrepreneurs and Communities” program area, summer 2020. Our AFRI project will propose measuring entrepreneurial networks in rural communities and their impact on business ownership and performance. The policy question is whether there is a role for smaller communities to facilitate institutions that foster networking and social capital that enhance local entrepreneurship?
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