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Lessons from Northwestern Missouri
An interesting initiative is underway in Northwestern Missouri. This part of America’s heartland is bounded by the Missouri River to the west, the Iowa border to the north, roughly U.S. 63 to the east and I-70 to the south. This is a physically large and predominately rural region with about 30 counties and hundreds of communities. Northwest Missouri is connected to the growing Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area with nearly 2.3 million residents. There is also St. Joseph and some smaller regional cities (e.g., Maryville, Chillicothe, Cameron, Brookfield, Moberly, etc.). But everything else is rural and “small town” America.
The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri , partnering with the Malcolm Baldrige Communities of Excellence 2026 initiative, is working with partner communities to stimulate and support community and economic renewal. We have been fortunate to follow this Initiative and are providing some support to this important work. Northwestern Missouri, like other rural regions is challenged as economic and social change has undermined the purpose for many of the communities within this vast region of America.

Our analysis of this region concludes that smart and focused entrepreneur development is the most likely pathway forward to rebuilding area and regional economies and communities.
Other e2 News
In last month's feature story, we explored whether American Entrepreneurship is Declining, particularly in rural areas. Two recent news articles support our thoughts: Rural Economies Aren't Dead But They Do Need Our Help and Unlocking the Digital Potential of Rural America.
Network Kansas E-Communities Retreats
Don Macke kicked off the NetWork Kansas Eastern and Western regional retreats March 26-27 where representatives from more than 30 communities networked, learned how to use their data-driven Development Opportunity Profiles and much more!

Growth from Within - Economic Gardening for Prosperity Summit
On April 11, Don Macke delivered the keynote address at this full-day summit in Kansas City aimed at entrepreneur-focused economic development. Don talked about why community prosperity is important and what elements are essential for a competitive economy. Developers experienced in entrepreneurship can find a systems approach to building community prosperity in our book, Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities: A Pathway to Prosperity.
Field News
Summer youth entrepreneurship program. The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Program is a 6-week program offered by The PlatForum, in Fayette County, Texas, now with a virtual component so youth and parents in any rural market can participate. Find out more, or sign up.

New logo, new website. Check out the new streamlined look for the National Center for Economic Gardening.

Upcoming Events
The Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship
Don Macke will be presenting at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's annual conference for mayors who want to help communities and cities "grow their own."
May 20-22, 2019
Kansas City, Missouri
2019 Kauffman Foundation Eship Summit
Don Macke will be presenting at this annual annual convening bringing entrepreneurial ecosystem builders – leaders and connecting communities to accelerate entrepreneurship.
May 21-23, 2019
Kansas City, Missouri
Save the Date
Annual Rural Rise Entrepreneurship Gathering
Sept. 16-19, 2019
Pine Bluff, Arkansas