As more and more rural communities consider how they can develop their own digital economy ecosystems, we have built this toolkit to outline the process required to be successful in this journey.

If you haven’t already reviewed our model for creating a digital economy ecosystem, we recommend starting there.

The toolkit contains four tools geared toward communities developing new or additional efforts as part of their approach to support digital and innovation-based jobs.

  • Readiness Assessment: This document will help you evaluate the areas where your community should consider expanding your efforts, based on the elements of our model.
  • Asset Mapping: This is a quick approach to assessing assets and stakeholders in your community and who should be included in your efforts.
  • Strategy Template: This template walks you through developing your community’s overall strategy and connecting the key areas it should address, with the partners and team to address the key areas.
  • Action Plan: This template will help you track your progress. Though many of these tools exist, our communities have found this template effective.

Though these tools are primarily targeted toward communities that have budding efforts to grow digital and innovation-based jobs, communities at all stages of ecosystem development will find them valuable.

This toolkit is evolving and new tools will be posted over time. If you’re looking for something in particular, please contact us.

The Rural Innovation Initiative is a collaboration between the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) and its community development sister organization, Rural Innovation Strategies Inc. (RISI).

This content was prepared by Rural Innovations Strategies, Inc. using Federal funds under award ED18HDQ3030013 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.