Risky Business

At some point in our lives we probably all dream of becoming an entrepreneur, being our own boss, and running our own business.

Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business is scary and risky, but entrepreneurship is vital to the growth of rural areas. Entrepreneurship allows people to create jobs in areas where work is scarce. The community and local economy all benefit from entrepreneurs.

Many of the developing countries in the world have used the concept of rural entrepreneurship as a very successful method of economic growth. So it makes sense that America uses entrepreneurship in rural areas for economic growth as well. But help is needed. The major hurdle that an entrepreneur faces is the availability of resources to carry out a business.

Recently U.S. Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Ken Salazar of Colorado introduced S. 566, the Rural Entrepreneur and Microenterprise Assistance Act, to provide financial and technical assistance to microenterprises and entrepreneurs in rural areas.

The proposed legislation builds off a successful program Nelson instituted as governor. The Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund, created in 1997, has provided nearly 4,500 loans – totaling $6.9 million – to Nebraska small businesses.

The Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund estimated that last year alone the program helped create or save 7,500 jobs at a cost of just $330 per job.

The 2007 Farm Bill must invest in the future of rural America, and the best way is through a proven strategy such as entrepreneurial development.

For more information visit: www.cfra.org.

Back to Weekly Column Archive.

Contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org or 402.687.2103 x 1010 or Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org or 402.687.2103 x 1007 for more information.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a private nonprofit specializing in strengthening small businesses, rural communities, and family farms and ranches.

Get The Newsletter?