North Carolina gets $2 million for rural enterprise

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has chosen North Carolina as one of six demonstration sites for a new initiative to create support systems for entrepreneurs in rural areas.

The Battle Creek, Mich.,-based foundation is investing $2 million in the two-year effort, to be led by the Rural Economic Development Center in Raleigh.

The goal of the program is to design a comprehensive entrepreneurship-development system for rural areas that will include access to education and training, technical assistance, capital, and networking opportunities.

Among other goals, the new system is designed to improve services for rural entrepreneurs, connect people in distressed and minority areas to resources, provide professional development scholarships and help develop new business ideas to fuel growth in rural communities.

Other nonprofit partners include the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the N.C. Institute for Minority Economic Development and Self-Help Credit Union, among others.

Other partners include the Business ServiCenter, state Department of Commerce; Consumer Service’s Marketing Division, state Agriculture Department; East Carolina University; and other representatives from the higher education community.

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