Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

12th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy, Equitable, and Prosperous Communities Conference, February 8, 2013, Kansas City Convention Center, Missouri

Tags: Wealth Creation

Client Name: NADO Research Foundation, Ford Foundation

Client Type: Foundation

Year: 2013

Location: Missouri

Melissa Levy, Senior Associate at Yellow Wood Associates, co-presented a session with Euneika Rogers-Sipp, Chief Regenerative Officer of Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families. The session was titled "Building Rural Wealth Based on Regional and Local Assets." Traditionally, wealth – be it natural resources, agricultural output, young people, or other forms of capital – has flowed out of rural communities. This session described emerging models of rural economic development that capitalize on local assets to build economic competitiveness and promote community prosperity from the ground up. This session provided an overview of the wealth creation approach, which aims to strengthen rural communities and economies by building capacity within shared economic networks, or value chains, to build multiple types of community wealth. Speakers highlighted examples of businesses and communities that have worked with businesses and communities using capacity building, training, and technical assistance to build reciprocal relationships, develop emerging industries, better link markets with consumers, and support long-term community goals. Speakers also led an exercise that demonstrated the tools and processes employed in the wealth creation framework.

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