Spurring innovation and job creation in rural communities is the key to ensuring the long-term future of rural America. Over half of all new jobs created in the most rural regions of the nation come from small, non-farm business ventures. There is a developing broad agreement among researchers, policy advocates, and grassroots workers that the traditional economic models of industrial and business recruitment simply do not meet the needs of rural communities. Small-scale entrepreneurship is the one development strategy that consistently works for most rural communities.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and its members successfully created the:
- Rural Microentrepreneurship Assistance Program (RMAP) in the new farm bill. RMAP provides grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations who in turn provide training, technical assistance, and micro-credit in the establishment of small businesses in rural areas.
We signed on to a letter from of our member organizations, the Center for Rural Affairs, to Secretary Vilsack, urging USDA to revise the RMAP rule.