Our experience and research strongly suggest that entrepreneurship will only take hold and succeed as a rural economic development strategy if the correct nurturing environment is created. The AEDC envisions this environment as built on the following core elements:
- A targeted approach to develop a pipeline of low-income entrepreneurs;
- Thorough assessment of business and life skills;
- Access to high-quality and comprehensive business development services;
- One-on-one technical assistance on specific business needs to augment classroom training;
- Fast track of subsequent loan applications for those who successfully complete training, and
- Continued support and nurturing through peer networking and ongoing technical assistance by AEDC staff.