Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP)

How Does it Work? | Entrepreneurial Opportunities | Resources

The Rural Business Investment Program is an interagency program collaborated on by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA)RBIP was created to spur economic development and job creation in rural areas.

How Does it Work?

The Rural Business Investment Program provides funding for Rural Business Investment Companies that can identify target Rural Areas and demonstrate how they will assist the areas using disciplined, profit-oriented investing in rural enterprises and hands-on technical assistance to rural enterprises via Operational Assistance Grant funding.


  • RBICs may invest only in “enterprises,” which are individuals or legal entities engaged in a business or commercial activity, regardless of whether they are operating for profit or are subject to any legal restrictions on the distribution of profits to their owners, members, or suppliers of their equity or quasi-equity capital. Enterprises include public, private, or cooperative for-profit or nonprofit organizations, and for-profit or non-profit businesses controlled by an Indian tribe on a Federal or State reservation or other federally recognized Indian tribal group.
  • At least 75% of RBIC investments measured both by dollars invested and number must be made in Rural Business Concerns (i.e., an Enterprise whose principal office is located outside a standard metropolitan statistical area or within a community with a population of 50,000 or less).
  • No more than 10% of investments measured both by number and dollars invested may be in Enterprises whose principal office is located in an urban area (defined by the Census as having a population of 150,000 or more.)
  • At least 50% of RBIC investments (measured both by number and dollars invested) must be in “Smaller Enterprises,” and of those, at least 50% must be in “Small Business Concerns”.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

The Rural Business Investment Program allows for money to be invested in rural enterprises. By investing in rural communities it benefits not only new businesses starting out but the businesses that already exist in the community. The influx of funding into communities is vital to the rejuvenation of rural America.


The program fact sheet from the Small Business Administration 

This is a short summary of program requirements and eligibility

This page features a map that delineates areas that are eligible for the Rural Business Investment Program