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Sustainable Tennessee, University of Tennessee

Sustainable Tennessee



Enrepreneurial Communities

Consensus is growing among economic development professionals, government officials and business leaders that spurring local economic development requires a multifaceted strategy, not one-dimensional industrial recruitment. This strategy includes promoting economic growth by creating and sustaining a supportive environment for nascent entrepreneurs and existing businesses.

Community vitality can be enhanced by strengthening the capacity for new and existing businesses to thrive and grow through community-based initiatives. Extension, and their community partners, can play a vital role in this process through projects which serve as a catalyst for the development of a local entrepreneurial base while building capacities and infrastructure aimed at increasing the quality of life for Tennesseans in the communities where they live and work.

Check out the Resource Development site for more information on Enrepreneurial Communities.

Creating a Rural Entrepreneurial System in Tennessee (CREST)


Although there is now a great deal of experience across the country, with many success stories to draw upon, entrepreneurship development is an elusive concept for many community leaders who have traditionally relied upon recruitment as their primary economic development strategy. In fact, for most rural communities, the encouragement and support of entrepreneurship is the best (and for some the only realistic) economic development strategy. This pilot program will provide insight into the role of entrepreneurship in economic development and outline and support ways that communities in Tennessee can develop the key components to a successful small business and entrepreneurship sector.

To apply: Letter of Intent exemplar

One Page info-sheet:
Prof. Brian Dabson's presentation on entrepreneurship development:
Your New Jobs May Be Homegrown


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