Trustee: Reinventing Rural
- Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
- Reinventing Rural recognizes that access to startup capital is one of the biggest challenges for small business entrepreneurs in underserved communities. According to the SBA, only half of all small businesses will survive their first 5 years and yet small business drives 46.8% of private workforce employment and is the backbone of many rural communities. Over 69% of startup companies started as home businesses and they rarely if ever qualify for traditional funding. According to the SBA, lack of capital or cash flow is the number one challenge for small businesses. As a trustee, Reinventing Rural can ensure that small business entrepreneurs looking for funding will have access to the business counseling, technical assistance, and marketing resources to understand the market and customer, develop a solid business plan, and have the support needed to secure funding and grow their endeavor.
- What is the mission of your organization?
- Reinventing Rural is an online community and service provider focused on helping rural communities in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest embrace their rugged culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting the launch and growth of rural small businesses. We work to build communities that are locally-sustainable, creative, and supportive of a strong small business environment.
Borrower Due Diligence
- How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
- Reinventing Rural ambassadors are experienced small business experts who work with both individual small business entrepreneurs and local community organizations supporting rural innovation and entrepreneurship. We partner with CO.STARTERS to bring their highly successful Core program and other workshops to rural communities. CO.STARTERS Core is a 10-week program which helps ensure the success of startups. We offer free access to IdeaBuddy, an online business planning tool to assist starters and small businesses to develop business models, test ideas, make financial projections, and build business plans. To receive an endorsement from Reinventing Rural, our ambassadors and partners have reviewed the borrower’s business plan and worked with them to ensure their value proposition, market fit, and customer profile are in alignment to ensure the greatest opportunities for success. We encourage the borrowers to “start small,” that they are appropriately using debt to launch and grow, and understand the risk and challenges of running a small business. We also leverage our technology knowledge to help rural entrepreneurs reach outside their local markets and make use of online tools to communicate and market their product and services by making available tools and subject matter experts. We also provide ongoing support to all our rural small business entrepreneurs through our online community, Reinventing Rural, connecting starters with experts.