September 2006  Issue No. 24                    REAP HOME PAGE         A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs

Rural Enterprise Reporter

REAP Rural Hispanic Business Center

Work on phase two of the REAP Hispanic-Rural Business Center (RH-RBC) exceeded our expectations. Funding for this work was provided by a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) from USDA, the Mammel Foundation, Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund through the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act, Small Business Administration Microloan Program, and from the Community Development Block Grant program through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

The objective of phase two was to continue establishing a rural Hispanic business development program, the REAP Hispanic Rural Business Center without walls (RH-RBC), to provide key business development services to rural Nebraska Hispanic entrepreneurs. REAP anticipated phase two would impact 25 Hispanic startup and existing entrepreneurs during the project year, but the impact was much greater than projected.

The RH-RBC specifically focused on four Nebraska communities during phase two of this project. The Nebraska pilot communities were Schuyler, South Sioux City, Crete, and Madison.

We would like to share only a few of the many highlights during phase two. Over 100 Hispanic entrepreneurs received substantial technical assistance or training from REAP staff during the project year. All of the pilot communities formed REAP Rural Business Round-tables that will provide a vehicle for continued training and networking. All of the communities also completed the five-session REAP Basic Business Training course in Spanish.

REAP has applied for funding to further expand outreach to Hispanic entrepreneurs. If approved, work in phase three will include piloting the RH-RBC approach on a regional basis in northeast Nebraska while continuing to research, develop, and build strategic partners to provide comprehensive New American services in all of rural Nebraska. 

Contact: Jeff Reynolds, REAP Program Director, at 402.656.3091 or jeffr@alltel.net for more information.

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