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Rural Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development

In North Carolina, entrepreneurs and small-business owners are a cornerstone of our state’s economy. In rural, urban, and suburban areas alike, small businesses are essential to the fabric of our communities and are drivers of local economic development. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the challenges already faced by entrepreneurs, including access to adequate capital, technical resources, and affordable healthcare for themselves and their employees. We must break down barriers so all entrepreneurs, regardless of race, gender, income, and geography, have equal access to capital and other funding, and that passionate individuals with a vision and dream have the know-how to start their business, the support to take necessary risks, and have an equitable, level playing field with less red tape and more opportunity. We all benefit when our small-business sector thrives—so we all have a vested interest in advocating for its success.


Policy Recommendations: Invest in Stronger Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development Systems

Advance North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan – a statewide small business agenda that fully addresses the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses, with special attention on underserved areas, and businesses owned by people of color, veterans, and women. This plan has four pillars: 

  • Funding: Equal access to the right kind of capital everywhere. 
  • Support: The ability for all to take risks. 
  • Opportunity: An equitable, level playing field with less red tape. 
  • Knowledge: The know-how to start a business.