In many communities across the nation, entrepreneurship is emerging as a critical strategy to complement the industrial recruitment and business retention and expansion efforts of communities. Not only are entrepreneurs a growing segment of the employment base of urban areas, they are expanding at a hefty pace in rural areas as well. The important challenge that these communities face is finding a way to uncover, nurture and support the hidden talents that exist in these communities already, talents that can serve as the “seedbed of entrepreneurship.”
The Entrepreneurs and Their Communities eXtension website is serves as an important resource to support the entrepreneurial efforts of local communities. It is a product of a dedicated team of Extension specialists and researchers working in land-grant universities across the country. The team’s responded to challenges put forth time and time again by local leaders, business representatives, government officials, service providers, nonprofit organizations, education officials, and others who took part in a series of entrepreneurship listening sessions held across the United States in 2005 and 2006. The plea of participants was this: “Please develop a virtual resource center that provides communities and entrepreneurs with a one-stop website for securing information on a host of entrepreneurship-related topics.” Entrepreneurs and Their Communities reflects the Cooperative Extension Services’ commitment to deliver on this important request.
While this website will be constantly improved and expanded over time, the eXtension team is pleased that many elements of the website are now in place. These products organized around two major audience groups: (1) Entrepreneurs and Resource Providers; and (2) Entrepreneur Ready Communities. Among the resources now available are:
The eXtension entrepreneurship team is dedicated to effectively serving the information and educational needs of entrepreneurs and strengthening the capacity of community leaders and citizens to foster and sustain the entrepreneurial dimensions of their local economies.
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