REAP

Our Rural Enterprise Assistance Project is committed to strengthening rural communities through small, self-employed business development. We offer four essential services: financing (micro loans), business training, technical assistance, and networking.

Call on REAP when you are thinking of starting a small business or if you already operate a small business in Nebraska. You can find your nearest REAP business specialist here. Through REAP you can create a business plan, research potential markets and marketing ideas, discuss management issues with experienced business specialists, and apply for a small business loan.

Started in 1990, REAP has provided services to numerous micro/small businesses throughout Nebraska. (A micro business is defined as one with 10 or fewer employees.) We've placed over $10 million in loans and leveraged over $17 million in additional funds from other sources.

REAP is a proud member of the Nebraska Small Business Collaborative, extending microenterprise businesses technical assistance and micro-loans in all distressed areas of Nebraska. You can learn more about REAP here.

REAP Notes

 

Creating Jobs and Self Sufficiency Through Self-Employment

The concept of microenterprise and microfinance has the power to empower people and transform their lives. The concept was pioneered in 1976 by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank (Bank of the Poor), in Bangladesh. The bank was established for the purpose of making small loans to the poor − predominantly women – to help them obtain economic self-sufficiency.

Aligning Capital and Justice

In 2015, the Center for Rural Affairs will reach the $12 million mark in small business loans. Aligning loan capital with our values of widespread ownership, control, and opportunity is a core strategy for our work.

How did we get here?

In 1977, the Center published Where Have All the Bankers Gone?, reporting on changes in the ownership structure of banking. Banks were consolidating. When small-town banks joined a consolidated chain, more of their customers’ cash holdings went to big-city banks in the chain.