In 2001, the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship was established with founding support from the Kauffman Foundation and the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI). The Center was an outgrowth of the Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative (REI) supported by the Kauffman Foundation, the National Rural Development Partnership, Partners for Rural America, and the Nebraska Community Foundation. The rationale for its founding was to create a national center that could serve as the source of information and learning about the practice of entrepreneurship in rural America. Kauffman committed three years of funding to help build the foundation on which CRE would create a national identity and portfolio of activities to support a four-part agenda – practice, research, outreach and policy.
While support from Kauffman has ended, RUPRI has provided consistent and ongoing support to the Center as part of the RUPRI family of centers and core programs. Our work contributes to the broader purpose of RUPRI – to provide unbiased analysis and information on the challenges, needs, and opportunities facing rural America. In turn, RUPRI provides the platform for the Center to achieve its policy objectives and the opportunity to partner strategically with other members of the RUPRI family.
The Center is organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, receiving exempt status in May 2009. Incorporated in Nebraska, the Center operates as a virtual organization with offices and staff in Nebraska and North Carolina.
Founding co-directors of the Center in 2001, Don Macke and Deborah Markley, continue to provide leadership to the Center. Over time, the Center’s leadership team has evolved and now includes the following. For brief staff bios, click here.
Copyright © 2010-2012 Materials on the public portions of this site may be used with appropriate attribution to the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.