Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) Initiative

The Rural Economic Development Innovation Initiative (REDI) is funded by USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center with a goal of growing rural economies by building on their local assets. Through partnerships, REDI assists communities in implementing an economic development model, WealthWorks, and creating actionable plans.

WealthWorks is a community-centered model that uses a value chain approach to connect the community’s assets to real market demand resulting in lasting livelihoods. The focus is on supporting local ownership and building on existing assets to strengthen and grow the local economy.

Wells Fargo Open for Business Hub

RCAP recently launched a program to provide small business technical assistance and training to rural and tribal small businesses across the country. Powered by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund, this technical program offers services such as business planning, financial planning and management, and advertising/marketing.  To learn more, visit the Open for Business Hub page.

RuralRISE

RCAP co-leads RuralRISE, a community of organizations that aims to increase opportunities and prosperity for small and rural communities across the United States. RuralRISE seeks to increase opportunities and accessibility for rural entrepreneurship and spotlights innovation, entrepreneurial, and startup activities that work in a rural context. RuralRISE includes more than 300 organizations aimed at building support for rural and tribal innovators and entrepreneurs in their communities. To learn more, please visit the RuralRISE website.

Through RCAP’s USDA REDI funding we were able to build a regional network of partners and a strategy to develop the rural Genesee Valley’s potential as an outdoor recreation and heritage tourism destination. Through REDI’s technical assistance, our network of partners was able to secure $1.2 million in new federal funds to realize key strategic priorities articulated in our plan including a Trail Town program to grow outdoor tourism and small businesses in 10 communities along the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park, a Rural Revitalization grant program to support historic preservation in our main street districts, and a Rural Innovation Institute housed within the State University of New York at Geneseo to cultivate the talent needed to respond to modern rural realities, and promote dynamic, resilient communities in rural western New York and beyond.

- Nicole Manapol, Letchworth Gateway Valley Director

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Looking for assistance?

If you would like more information about these programs or assistance for your communities, please visit our contact page and reach out to us via our contact form, or our regional partners directly.