About This Site

This resource is a tool for rural community leaders in western Illinois and across the state. It is a place for us to share what we have learned about creating entrepreneurial communities and to celebrate what the pilot communities in western Illinois have accomplished to date. In particular, we want to help you better understand:

  • Entrepreneurs – Who they are and what they need.
  • Making the case – Why entrepreneurship development is important for rural communities.
  • Creating an entrepreneurial environment – What are the key components.
  • Moving forward – What is working across rural America and in the western Illinois region.
  • Measuring your outcomes – How to capture and share the story of your success.
  • Supportive policy – The role of local and state policy in entrepreneurship development.

In each section, we'll highlight what we learned from resources across the country and then share examples of how communities in western Illinois used this information to move forward. We plan to add new content to this site over time, so we invite you to return often. We also want to hear what you are doing to build more supportive environments for the entrepreneurs in your communities. Please share your stories and events with us by e-mailing us at brownlk@illinois.edu.