Lessons from Central Appalachia
Entrepreneurial Community Development
For the past three and a half years, we have been working with the Appalachian Regional Commission, Rural Action in Ohio, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, the West Virginia Community Development Hub and Berea College's Brushy Fork Institute on a rural community entrepreneurship ecosystem building initiative. As this project is closing out, Deb Markley with LOCUS Impact Investing and the initiative team have been curating stories from this work including three deep-dive stories or one from each of the partnering states of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. All of these stories are now available on a special website developed by LOCUS for the project. There are rich lessons learned and inspiration to be had in reading these stories from Central Appalachia. A summary of this initiative and these stories are featured in this month's paper, Lessons from Central Appalachia, Entrepreneurial Community Development.
New Podcast Episodes
This episode features an interview with Deb Markley, LOCUS Impact Investing and Dan Vorisek, Rural Action in Ohio, about the insights learned during the Central Appalachia e2 Initiative. Visit our podcast landing page to download additional resources related to this impressive 3-year project.
Our February 23rd episode, Economic Crashes and the Case for Entrepreneurship, goes live with Don Macke and Shelley Paasch sharing examples of economic crashes rooted in single industry economies. They focus on stories where rural communities that pursued entrepreneur-led development and diversification after a crash experienced quicker recovery and greater prosperity.

Don't miss this or any episode! You can subscribe to the Pathways to Rural Prosperity podcast by visiting our webpage or search for it on your favorite podcast app.
Other e2 News
How Rural Communities Benefit When Local Entrepreneurs Scale
A new report by Endeavor Insight, Rural Entrepreneurship in the United States - A Pillar of Economic Development for Rural Communities, draws lessons from successful rural founders including e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems to better understand pathways to scale and strategies for overcoming some of the most common challenges that rural entrepreneurs face.

You can read a brief overview of the report, which is supported by Google for Startups, in this blog post.
Fostering Startups in Rural Areas
In this video interview, Don talks about entrepreneurial ecosystem building using the Energizing Entrepreneurs (e2) Development Framework. Watch the whole interview, or fast forward to what interests you most:

0:00​ - Intro 1:08 - Start in Economic Development 9:25​ - Suggestions on building a stronger ecosystem? 22:05 - Entrepreneurial Misconceptions 25:45​ - Reading Suggestions 29:45​ - Interview Recap
Engaging Entrepreneurs Zoominar
The Iowa Rural Development Council hosted a Zoominar on Feb. 5th featuring Don Macke and Steve Radley with Network Kansas aimed at growing more prosperous rural communities. The council has created a webpage with a link to the recording and to all the resources presented. Check it out!
Field News
Seeds of Opportunity, How Rural America Is Reaping Economic Development Benefits from the Growth of Renewables. The Rocky Mountain Institute has released a report quantifying the impact of wind and solar projects in rural communities not only through tax revenue but land lease payments, construction wages, and ongoing wages for operations and maintenance, and highlighting the potential future.

Online Economic Gardening Certification. The winter session of the Online Economic Gardening certification course opened February 1. Register now.

What Post-Pandemic Repair Could Look Like. In this The Atlantic article, the author includes a link to e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems as part of the solution to post-pandemic recovery.

Supporting Entrepreneurs and Startups. Listen to Steve Radley and Erik Pedersen, NetWork Kansas, talk about their work in this recent Shoveltalk podcast.
Institute for Emerging Issues
Don Macke is slated to present during this virtual emerging issues forum hosted by North Carolina State University, Feb. 15 - 18, 2021. His workshop, Regional Resilience and Innovation, is Wed., Feb. 17th. Click for more information or to register.
National Entrepreneurship Week
National Entrepreneurship Week Feb. 13-20, 2021 is a congressionally-chartered initiative founded in 2006 that takes place the third week of February annually. To find out how you can engage, visit https://www.natleshipweek.org.
Venture Summit Virtual Connect West
Come meet, interact and network online with more than 1,500 VCs, Corporate VCs, angel investors, industry execs and founders of venture backed, emerging and early stage companies at the prestigious Venture Summit Virtual Connect West being held virtually on March 16th-18th 2021. e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems has made special arrangements for a unique discount of an additional 20% off the existing “early bird" savings. Register Today & Save Click here. Use promo code "E2VIP