Dakota Rising, a program of South Dakota Rural Enterprise, stimulates and supports entrepreneur development through its Rural Entrepreneur Fellows program and supporting activities in four pilot sites located in different corners of the state. Two new Dakota Rising pilot Sites will be selected in 2010, the final year of a three year demonstration period.
"The ability to tap into resources and offer our small businesses the tools and money to grow makes Dakota Rising very attractive for rural communities," said Scott Amundson, one of the pilot Site coordinators. "We are small, but we have creative, passionate business men and women who need a strong network and connections to be successful. Dakota Rising provides those elements."
To be considered as a Dakota Rising Site you must either be 1) an organization or coalition of organizations that serves a specific geographic area; or 2) a membership organization or an organization that provides services to a well-defined population serving rural people. Dakota Rising Sites:
• Join a learning network dedicated to entrepreneur development.
• Access systems to develop sustainable community networks to support entrepreneurship.
• Receive training in entrepreneur development strategies.
• Connect entrepreneurs to resources and technical assistance.
• Bring Fellowship opportunities to community entrepreneurs.
The first step to becoming a Dakota Rising pilot Site is to submit an "Intent to Apply" on the Dakota Rising web site, www.dakotarising.com. The deadline for submitting completed Site applications is June 18, 2010.
After the completion of the demonstration project in 2011, it is the intention of SD Rural Enterprise to make Dakota Rising available statewide. To learn more about the Dakota Rising Entrepreneur Fellowship Program and becoming a Dakota Rising Site, go to www.dakotarising.com, call 605-978-2804 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.