Jobs, Jobs, Jobs... Rebuilding Nebraska's Economy

Rural Nebraskans are their own best economic allies, creating jobs for themselves and often others in their communities through starting small businesses. Thanks to programs such as the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act and the Center for Rural Affairs' REAP program as well as the Center's annual MarketPlace rural entrepreneurship conference, Nebraska's rural entrepreneurs are making a real difference, not only for themselves and their communities, but for Nebraska and the nation.
The importance of rural small businesses is often overlooked, but microenterprises are major employers in Nebraska and are especially vital in rebuilding Nebraska's rural economy. Nearly 2,000 jobs have been created since 1997 thanks to the Nebraska Microenterprise Act. State investment in microenterprise development has resulted in $11 million in business loans, provided the resources for 23,000 Nebraskans to obtain business training and assistance, and assisted entrepreneurs in every county (

Moreover, MarketPlace, is also giving entrepreneurs a leg up in business start-up and job creation.  Since the inception of MarketPlace in 2007, a total of 342 jobs have been created each year with the help of MarketPlace participation ( That's well over 1,300 jobs in total.

Microenterprise development is where the rubber meets the road in rural economic development. As Nebraska continues to recover from the recession, continued investment in and support for efforts like the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act should be continued or expanded, especially if we want rural Nebraska's villages, towns and small cities to contribute fully to our state and nation's economic recovery.