Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV)
The Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program is all about finding and igniting existing entrepreneurs in communities. By adopting a "grow your own" approach to entrepreneur development, the REV model helps community grow from within.
After reviewing applications from small towns across our southern Minnesota region, we selected the following six REV communities that exhibited a readiness to “grow their own” and work towards creating a climate where entrepreneurs will thrive: Blue Earth (Faribault County), Lake City (Wabasha County), Lanesboro & Spring Valley (Fillmore County), Le Sueur (Le Sueur County), and Spring Grove (Houston County). Our coaches (SMIF staff and partners – Region Nine Development Commission and University of Minnesota Extension) are committed to working with each of these communities for a three year period, which launched in 2018.
The REV model is based on Network Kansas's tried and tested Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (e2) framework. While SMIF has a long history of asset-based community development, the REV program is a unique, long-term commitment that focuses on developing processes and systems for sustainable economic growth. REV is supported by Blandin Foundation.
"Lake City's REV program continues to grow and deepen. In the first year of this program’s research interviews, several entrepreneurs in Lake City articulated three primary needs: marketing, networking and strategic planning. Accordingly, the EDA and Chamber of Commerce began offering a training series on digital marketing tools to business leaders. Lake City also welcomed a new ice cream shop to town recently. This new business owner is one of the entrepreneurs that our program identified in 2018, interviewed and has intentionally supported towards the launch of a new business. We are delighted to support this sort of home-grown business development. "
- Kjellgren Alkire, Economic Development Director for Lake City