Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystems
in Communities
of Color
Back in 2001, U.S. economic developers were introduced to a new approach for developing enterprises in local communities and regions called an entrepreneurial development system (EDS). The idea for EDS had origins with Gregg A. Lichtenstein and Thomas S. Lyons in The Entrepreneurial Development System: Transforming Business Talent and Community Economies , Economic Development Quarterly, Vol. 15, no. 1, Feb. 2001: 3-20.

A few years later, Brian Dabson made the rural case for the EDS approach in Fostering Entrepreneurship Development Systems in Rural America, a report to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), January 2005.

Since then, entrepreneurial development systems have evolved into entrepreneurial ecosystem building. The recent EshipSummit hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation convened leading ecosystem builders to accelerate the field entrepreneurship through the sharing of resources, best practices and more (see next section below).

Today, I want to share a new guide, Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Communities of Color, authored by Dell Gines, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Hub. This report adds to the entrepreneurial ecosystem building movement in three important ways. First, it addresses the emerging reality that America’s entrepreneurial talent can be found in often marginalized communities of color, gender and geography (rural to core urban). Second, this guide strengthens the themes around “inclusive entrepreneurship.” Third, there is real content informing us on design elements for ecosystem building in communities of color. Thank you Dell and Rodney for this important contribution! Folks… find time to read this guide.
Kauffman Eship Summit
In May the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its partners hosted the third annual EshipSummit in Kansas City. Strong attendance drove deep engagement as thought leaders from across America and beyond moved from “discovery” (first summit) to “design” (second summit) to “delivery” (2019 summit). There are seven ecosystem building goals with multiple objectives and emerging implementation strategies. Check out The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook – Draft 3.0.  More on the ecosystem building movement in our July e2 Newsletter.
Rural Decline?
Every so often there is a national media story about rural and its chronic decline. Sometimes these features are insightful and other times they skim the surface of what is really happening. Andrew Van Dam's piece in The Washington Post, The real (surprisingly comfortable) reason rural America is doomed to decline , produced a headline that hurt, but a story we need to understand. Bottom line, a major reason why rural seems to always be losing population is that growing rural communities and counties are being reclassified every year as urban. Take some time and read this story… it has insight worth pondering.
Webinar - Innovative Business Transition Strategies in Ord, NE
Ord lawyer and economic development leader Bob Stowell.
On May 13, e2 hosted a webinar for the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation featuring Bob Stowell, community leader and attorney from Ord, Nebraska. Ord is among Nebraska’s high performing rural communities with a reputation for impactful rural development. Bob shared strategies his community employed to transition important local businesses to a new generation. You can listen to this webinar and watch a Nebraska public television segment, Thinking Differently, on Ord's economic and leadership development efforts.
Simone Elder.  For the past few years Simone has served as a remarkable E-Community coach in Western Kansas with NetWork Kansas. She will be missed but continue to be a leader in her home community in Western Kansas as she is passionate about rural communities. 

Dr. Larry Swanson.  Rural America lost a remarkable asset with the passing of Dr. Swanson. He was an economist with deep commitment to rural and natural resources. Larry was a leader in Montana with roots from the University of Nebraska. Larry… you will be missed.

Frank LaMere.  Frank spent much of his life as an advocate for Native Americans. We had the pleasure to work with Frank and view his efforts as transformative. We lost Frank recently and he will be missed. But his vision, passion and work will carry on in the lives and communities he touched.
Field News
CIRD Call for Applications from Rural and Tribal Communities . The National Endowment for the Arts announces that the Request for Applications from communities is open now until July 22.

Are rural communities un-bankable? The Daily Yonder captured panelist thoughts on investing in rural areas from the Rural Life in America symposium held May 21.

Rural RISE national rural entrepreneurship ecosystem builder summit. Registration is now open!

New communities selected to join the e-Community Partnership. NetWork Kansas announced five new communities joining its innovative entrepreneurship program, bringing the total number of participating communities to 64.
Upcoming Events
Annual National Conference for Growing Community Foundations
Hosted by the Kansas Association of Community Foundations. Don Macke, along with Imagene Harris, Network Kansas and Tim Penny, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, will present "The Community Foundation and Entrepreneurship Connection."
Oct. 27-29, 2019
Kansas City, Missouri
Save the Date
NREDA 2019 Annual Conference
November 6-9, 2019
Kansas City, MO
Don Macke is presenting at the conference.