Raise your hand if you’ve caught the “rural bug.” That is to say, if you’ve caught onto the incredible amount of excitement and energy happening around all things rural. We expect 2020 to be a promising year for small communities throughout the state, so we joined forces with key players in Colorado last November. After an intense two-day meeting, our group formed a collaborative new initiative that aims to align resources and develop projects that benefit entrepreneurs and extend the impact of business organizations.

Meet CREW: the Collaborative for Rural Economic Wins, a new partnership between the Colorado SBDC, the new Rural Opportunity Representatives with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and Startup Colorado. With our different networks of resources, we hope to help rural Colorado shape a robust and dynamic future. 

We have some exciting initiatives lined up for 2020 including: 

  •     Researching remote learning solutions for both youth and adult entrepreneurs
  •     Developing a new virtual engagement tool for rural Colorado
  •     Solving for the unique challenges presented to rural entrepreneurs 

What’s important to keep in mind is the unique role each organization plays in rural entrepreneurship. Through its fifteen regional offices around the state, the Colorado SBDC helps small businesses grow by offering free consulting and training services. OEDIT’s new Rural Opportunity Representatives are based in Western, Southern, and Eastern Colorado and will coordinate rural strategy and projects. When you throw in Startup Colorado’s efforts to help rural entrepreneurs and community champions access resources such as education and funding, you can see the potential for our three organizations to cover a wide variety of needs. 

As we move forward into 2020, let us know where you need help and how CREW can best serve you and your community.   

*Photograph of Trinidad, CO by Scrubhiker (USCdyer)

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