Retiree-Led Development
Based on 2020 Esri data, retiree-aged Americans control nearly 42% of all household disposable income (e.g., actual spending capacity) and an amazing 73% of all household wealth. Many retirees are relocating from higher cost urban communities where they made their wealth, to lower cost communities, including rural communities. Our thought paper, Urban America is Filling Up, provides keen insight on how the cost of housing and associated lifestyle costs are driving urban retirees to locate to lower cost places. Our newest paper - Retiree-Led Development – provides a deeper dive into this under-recognized development opportunity for rural America. We also have a podcast episode exploring the topic (link below). To learn more about retiree and all the other opportunities, download and read our paper – Likely Entrepreneurial Development Opportunities.
Other e2 News
Rural Minnesota Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Initiative. For years, we have worked with Pam Bishop, Vice President, Economic Development with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). SMIF is part of the regional Minnesota Initiative Foundation, which focuses both on the work of a community foundation and that of a community economic development organization. These foundations are worth a deep look as an innovative development model. In the late 2010s we began to work with Pam and the Foundation to vision, develop, and rollout the Rural Entrepreneur Venture (REV) communities initiative. Last year, REV completed rural community ecosystem building work for its first cohort of communities. In 2021 REV is partnering with a second cohort of rural communities.

Working with Pam, we have curated an anthology of REV information and stories containing powerful lessons to be learned, titled REV - Rural Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building in Southern Minnesota. We also had the privilege of interviewing Pam on our Pathways to Rural Prosperity podcast, in which she shares her personal journey becoming a veteran economic developer.
Rural Development with Don Macke. In this video interview with University of Nevada - Reno Extension staff, Don talks about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on rural America. He answers questions on topics ranging from urban-rural migration, jobs and remote work, people attraction strategies, affordable housing and homelessness crises, broadband struggles and more.
Entrepreneurship in Appalachia (Part 1) In this podcast episode of Appalachia Meets World, Don Macke discusses the importance of entrepreneurial development in small towns and how to develop a culture of entrepreneurship. We also have our own podcast episode featuring e2's work in Appalachia spanning three years, Central Appalachia Entrepreneurial Communities Initiative – Lessons Learned. Listen now!
Field News
Breaking Out of the Resource Trap: An Economic Plan for Resource-Based Communities. Strong Towns just released this guide to provide advice for resource-dependent communities to become stronger and prosperous.

Will Biden deliver for rural America? Brookings released a two-part blog series on the evolution of rural policy in America as reflected in recent federal legislative and executive actions. Part 1 - The promise of the American Rescue Plan, outlines the objectives and opportunities for rural America. Part 2 - The potential of the proposed Rural Partnership Program, details specifics necessary for a successful program.

USDA Launches Resource Guide to Help America’s Rural Workforce Build Back Better. The USDA has created a resource guide outlining federal programs and services available that support rural workforce development. The guide includes case examples of how programs have been used and implementation recommendations for rural leaders.

Student Loans and Entrepreneurship: An Overview. The Kauffman Foundation released this research brief on the relationship between student debt and entrepreneurship. The report considers direct and indirect impacts of student debt on the capacity for individuals to become entrepreneurs, and gives consideration to the role of higher education, student debt, and other resources.

USDA Launches Grant Program to Help Expand Regional Economies and Create High-Wage Jobs in Distressed Rural Communities. The USDA has launched a new grant program, Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE), providing funding for rural economic development through locally directed entrepreneurship and workforce development programs. Funding applications must be submitted by August 2nd.
Annual summit September 22-23
A dynamic gathering for thriving small communities, this year there will be in-person options, a virtual (live stream) option, and a connect-only option with seven different program tracks. e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and NetWork Kansas will be in Keane, NH presenting sessions during the entrepreneurship track. Don't miss this event sponsored by the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship!