Skip to main content


Pathways to Rural Prosperity

Welcome to Pathways to Rural Prosperity

The Pathways to Rural Prosperity Podcast provides strategies to empower rural community success and vitality. Hosted by e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems' Don Macke, episodes will feature interviews with cutting edge rural development thought leaders and community practitioners; remarkable entrepreneurs including business, nonprofit, and government professionals; and the learnings of e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Connect with Don, learn more about e2, and subscribe!

Listen to the Trailer

Subscribe to the Podcast

Subscribe and listen by choosing your favorite platform below.

Recent Episodes

GRO – Growing Rural Oregon: A Promising Rural Entrepreneurial Communities Initiative
In this edition of Pathways to Rural Prosperity Podcast Don Macke with e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems hosts Anne Kubisch, President of The Ford Family Foundation and Kathleen Flanagan with The Ford Family Foundation and GRO or Growing Rural Oregon.   Anne leads The Ford Family Foundation, a critical important rural community development partner in Oregon and Northern California. GRO is an exciting new entrepreneurial communities’ initiative rooted in rural Oregon.  Kathleen is the driving force behind GRO and The Ford Family Foundation’s commitment to rural communities through entrepreneur-led development. 
The Foundation’s story is special as it was created by a family with wealth generated from rural Oregon and Northern California in the harvesting and processing of timber.   GRO is on a short list at e2 of promising new E-Innovations.  

In this edition of Pathways to Rural Prosperity Podcast Shelley Paasch hosts Don Macke with e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems focusing on E-Communities and Workforce. 
Workers or human talent is foundational to communities and their economies.  For decades a worker shortage has been building in the United States.  This shortage is now becoming a crisis and in this podcast we explore ways rural employers and communities can grow their human talent and workforce.

In this edition of Pathways to Rural Prosperity Podcast Don Macke with e2 Entrepreneurial
Ecosystems hosts (KC Belitz), Chief Operating Office with the Nebraska Community Foundation and leader for a new E-Community initiative based in Nebraska called E3 for short or Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.  E3 is off to a very promising start and has a vision of taking entrepreneurship statewide over the coming decade.  The (Nebraska Community Foundation) is a best-in-class rural statewide community building initiative rooted in community philanthropy.

Whether a brand new start-up or an existing business seeking to grow, mentoring can be a powerful tool within any community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Shelley Paasch and Don Macke explore the “why,” “what,” and “how” of entrepreneur mentoring programs. This episode also explores tried-and-true cost-sharing programs for providing customized technical assistance to entrepreneurs including mentors.

In this podcast episode, Don Macke hosts Tina Metzer and Jessica Glendinning with RuralRISE, an important entrepreneurship initiative focusing on Rural America. Tina and Jessica share their personal development journeys and the “why” and “what” of RuralRISE. Additionally, they explore how folks can participate in the upcoming September 28-30th RuralRISE gathering in Emporia, Kansas along with other networking and learning opportunities.

In this episode of Pathways to Rural Prosperity Podcast Shelley Paasch and Don Macke focus on Entrepreneurial Communities and Business Services. Foundational to entrepreneurial ecosystems is their ability to connect area entrepreneurs to relevant resources like capital, technical assistance, and mentoring. In this podcast, Shelley and Don explore the role of area business services as both mentors and go-to components of any community-centered entrepreneurial ecosystem whether rural or urban.