The Long Drive Home - The Ord Nebraska Story
In the 1980s Ord Nebraska and its region was in peril due to the U.S. Agricultural Crisis. Farms and ranches were failing. Local businesses were closing. Residents were losing hope and like so many rural communities, Ord was headed for chronic and severe decline.

Curated by journalist Matthew Hansen, The Long Drive Home: How Bob Stowell and Allies Made Ord’s Future Better Than Its Past, captures long-time community leader Robert Stowell and the community’s journey to hope and success. This powerful story is part of the larger Ord Story Capture Collection that e2 will be featuring throughout 2022, starting with this new podcast episode where I had the privilege of chatting with Bob about this journey and the lessons it holds for other rural communities seeking prosperity.

Don Macke
Other e2 News
Commuter-Led Entrepreneurial Development. Traditional development primarily focuses on attracting and growing businesses. With entrepreneur-led development, growing a stronger community economy is often rooted in a wider spectrum of opportunities. This month we are featuring another of our Likely Entrepreneurial Development Opportunities strategy guides, Commuter-Led Development. Our rural communities and economies are regional, and commuters are foundational to their operation and success. Be sure to listen to our podcast episode on the topic!
Growing Rural Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Lessons from Tupelo MS to Ord NE. Last month Don Macke kicked off Radically Rural's 2022 Virtual Roundtables with this presentation on rural community transformation. You can view the entire session HERE and download Don's PowerPoint presentation for all the details. Don't miss the free March roundtable on rural childcare - more info.
Field News
Migration Key to Rural Economic Development. This Daily Yonder article cites new research that the majority of new businesses opening in rural counties are operated by people between the ages of 50 and 74. Download the Rural Entrepreneurship and Migration research report here.

Research: How Entrepreneurship Can Revitalize Local Communities. In an eight-year Harvard Business Review research study, the authors argue that if the goal is to harness the power of entrepreneurship to revitalize impoverished places, business leaders and policymakers must shift away from a focus on scaling up, and that they must instead encourage founders to “scale deep” — that is, to grow slowly and become strongly embedded into the local economy, rather than growing as quickly and broadly as possible. This means investing not only in ventures that offer strong financial returns, but also in those that lift their communities to achieve sustained self-reliance.

Rural Communities Across the U.S. Are Attracting Remote Workers Through Different Incentive Programs. This article explores how Americans are choosing to live and work through the pandemic.

America's Growing Gig Economy. The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) in collaboration with Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. and funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration has generated a fantastic series of reports on the gig economy, the impact of remote work, automation and more. Be sure to check out these reports and sign up for their Feb. 17th virtual roundtable.
National Entrepreneurship Week, Feb. 12 - 19, 2022. We look forward to celebrating #NatlEshipWeek with organizations across the country, February 12-19. The daily theme for Feb. 14 is Eship Ecosystems. Learn more at