MICRO and SEED Grant Applications Open July 29th!

Rural Entrepreneurship


Rural North Carolina is home to countless growth-oriented entrepreneurs with the potential to significantly impact both the local and statewide economies. Despite facing limitations, rural entrepreneurs demonstrate remarkable resilience in overcoming access to capital, geographic challenges, and community support, all of which are crucial resources for the success of an entrepreneur.
Through our wide range of programs, NC IDEA has supported several rural initiatives, companies, and events across the state. Through partnerships with Wells Fargo and MDC Inc. we remain committed to uplifting rural entrepreneurship within North Carolina.
NC Idea: Rural Entrepreneurship Report

The Report

Access the report in both English and Spanish

Strengthening North Carolina’s Rural Entrepreneurship Future: Rural Entrepreneur & Ecosystem Partner Perspectives

In spring 2024, NC IDEA partnered with MDC to explore how to better support the needs of rural entrepreneurs across the state. This report shares an in-depth analysis and recommendations based off our findings.

Why Now?
Population Increase

Up 2.7% in rural NC from 2020-2023.

Broadband Expansion

Increased e-commerce opportunities.

Vast Rural Landscape

Potential for innovation in agriculture & biotechnology.

Uplifting Rural Entrepreneurs

NC IDEA is uniquely positioned to convene leaders with a specific goal of cultivating growth-oriented entrepreneurs with the potential to significantly impact the economies and the people of the rural communities where they operate. NC IDEA has a track record of investing in rural entrepreneurs and the ecosystem that surrounds them, and we know much more is needed to close the gap for rural entrepreneurs in our state.

Sponsored by Wells Fargo

MDC INC. logo

In Partnership With


Advancing Equity, Improving Economic Mobility

MDC equips Southern leaders, institutions, and communities with the necessary tools and strategies to advance equity—particularly racial and gender equity—and economic mobility. For over 50 years, institutions, communities, foundations, and others across the South have turned to MDC for deep knowledge and proven tools to design, demonstrate, and sustain what works to boost members of underinvested communities to higher rungs on the economic ladder.

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Sponsored by

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NC Idea: Rural Entrepreneurship Report

The Report.

NC Idea: Rural Entrepreneurship Report

El Reporte.