The Rural Center is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of rural North Carolinians through the development, promotion and implementation of sound economic strategies.

How can we help your community? The center trains rural leaders from all walks of life to recognize and embrace economic opportunities. We help rural entrepreneurs of all ages start their own businesses, and we provide access to capital so established businesses can grow and create new jobs.

If you have a question about current Rural Center initiatives, please contact a staff member. If you have a question about past grant programs, please see this FAQ.


Register now for the 2015 N.C. Rural Assembly

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We have lined up a top-notch panel of speakers for this year's Assembly, including FCC Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis Jonathan Chambers, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, CenturyLink Vice President Rondi Furgason and Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina. See a detailed agenda.

Expanding high-speed Internet access is critically important to the future of North Carolina's rural economy. We will share success stories from around the state and nation, and connect you with leaders who have the information and resources to help communities expand what they have, or build what they need. Register now.


Eastern N.C. towns: Apply now to host disaster resiliency workshops

The Rural Center is seeking three towns in Eastern North Carolina with flood and disaster mitigation experience to host a disaster resiliency training workshop. Each town will host a daylong seminar with support from the Rural Center. Selected towns will receive a $5,000 stipend. Read more. 



Rural Center welcomes hundreds to advocacy meetings

Center staff traveled across rural North Carolina in July and August, gathering critical feedback as we work to craft a rural advocacy agenda that benefits the entire state. More than 300 people participated. Read more.