Posts by Center on Rural Innovation

The Benefits of Fiber-To-The Home Networks

fiber to the home

When rural communities decide to work on expanding local broadband, they have to decide what kind of network best meets the community’s needs. They often see a tradeoff between performance and cost. But in most situations, we actually don’t think communities need to compromise. Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks have the fastest speeds, the highest quality connectivity, and often the lowest costs in the long run.

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The Power of Capital in Rural Entrepreneurship

This capital gap has real consequences: Rural entrepreneurship rates have fallen significantly, standing at just 12.2% in the 2010s compared to 20% in the 1980s. And without the power of entrepreneurship to spark economic growth, rural economies overall have struggled as innovation has concentrated in major urban hubs.

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A look back on two years of the Rural Innovation Initiative

Since its launch in 2019, we’ve onboarded 2 cohorts of the Rural Innovation Initiative, with a total of 19 participants. We are deeply proud of the impact it has had on small towns all across the country, and our experience has shown that when rural communities have access to the expertise of an outside organization with national resources like CORI and RISI, they can transform ideas into actionable local benefits.

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Two Rural Innovation Initiative Participants Selected to Receive Highly Competitive U.S. Economic Development Administration Build to Scale Venture Challenge Grants

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), a social enterprise advancing inclusive economic development in rural America, today announced that two rural communities from across their Rural Innovation Initiative have secured Venture Challenge grants via the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build to Scale (B2S) program. The two successful grant applications came from Waterville, Maine and Platteville, Wisconsin.

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CORI’s Employment Impact Update: July 2020

CORI Employment Impact Update

While the vast majority of pandemic-related coverage has focused on dense urban areas, smaller towns across the country have also felt deep health and economic shocks. Each month in our Employment Impact Update, we share key findings, trends, detailed maps and analysis based on BLS monthly employment data to help you understand what’s happening to rural economies.

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The Rural Edge: Small Town, Wide Network


Often, as rural people, we underestimate our talent, or have imposter syndrome. We think there’s not a space for a rural entrepreneur or a small business, or no opportunity to scale. But when we’re persistent, when we actively build a community of people who can help strengthen and grow and fine tune a brand, we can succeed, it may take time, but I do believe it is possible.

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The Center on Rural Innovation Announces Renewed, Expanded Funding from Siegel Family Endowment

SFE | CORI logos

Hartland, VT – The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is pleased to announce the commitment of three years of funding from longtime funder, partner, and supporter Siegel Family Endowment (SFE). The grant totals $2.8 million over the next three years, and targets programs and work that will help the organization scale its efforts to bring digital economy jobs to small town America and close the rural opportunity gap.

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Center on Rural Innovation Unveils the Rural Opportunity Map: a Unique, Data-Driven Framework to Foster Economic Success in Small Towns

New Mapping Tool Will Enable Diverse Stakeholders to Gain Insights Easily, Helping Them Take More Impactful Action to Encourage Rural Prosperity Today, at The Opportunity Project Demo Day and Summit at the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland, the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) launched the Rural Opportunity Map, a suite of data visualization and…

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