The Local Crowd’s platform offers features and educational programs designed to help rural communities activate entrepreneurial ecosystems and spur local investment. The two-year USDA Small Business Innovation Research grant will support the launch of 15 Demonstration Sites, with the ultimate goal of commercializing a new tool that provides better access to capital for businesses and organizations across rural America.
The four communities selected to be Demonstration Sites are Monroe, Georgia; Muskogee, Oklahoma; Newton, North Carolina; and 3CORE Inc., California (serving Tehama, Butte and Glenn Counties). They will join the communities selected in the first three rounds of applications including Bozeman, Montana; Butte, Montana; Laramie, Wyoming; Lower Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Texas; Golden Hills, Iowa; Goshen, Indiana; Monadnock Region, New Hampshire; Oregon, Illinois; Sauk Valley Region, Illinois; Teton Valley, Idaho; and Wood County, Wisconsin.
“We are thrilled to be working with such a strong group of dedicated, diverse and visionary communities,” said Diane Wolverton, Co-Founder and CEO of The Local Crowd. “During the review process, each community team submitted a vision statement about how being a Demonstration Site would impact their community. These vision statements capsulized their commitment to ‘mobilize individuals to invest in their towns, empower people to create wealth, develop funding options for businesses and bring people together for a common goal.” We are looking forward to great results from this dynamic and extremely motivated team!”
The Demonstration Site teams recently began a six-week online training program to introduce them to the crowdfunding software and support successful implementation of the platform. The target date for launch within each of the communities is late 2017.