Wisconsin REV Has Launched!

Wisconsin’s Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program launched on June 3rd with its inaugural cohort diving into the first phase known as eReady. Each WI REV community’s leadership team started their journey with an orientation meeting that included their WI REV coach and eReady coach to learn about the eReady three-month process and to start reviewing the Ord, NE case study.  They then gathered virtually for their first plenary session, coming together as a cohort to discuss the economic benefits Ord has seen over the past 20+ years and to reflect on potential goals their own communities might realize through employing the WI REV framework.

Ord is a rural city in Valley County, NE that began using this type of framework in 2000 to develop their small community through entrepreneur-led economic development. Their growth and economic prosperity have been studied and documented by e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems leader, Don Macke, and his colleagues for more than 20 years as ORD continues to utilize the tools this framework provides.

Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV), based on the e2 model of entrepreneur-led development, is a proven entrepreneurial development program designed to advance small town economies through a targeted business approach. WI REV is now underway with its inaugural cohort including:

  • City of Jefferson in Waukesha County
  • Latino entrepreneurs in Green County
  • City of Amery in Polk County
  • City of Mineral Point in Iowa County
  • City of Hillsboro in Vernon County

The typical WI REV community is rural with a population of at least 1,500 but no more than 10,000, which may include an individual city/town/village, a combination of neighboring communities or a school district. Local leadership in a WI REV community is willing to invest time with their local entrepreneurs and work to establish a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and a diverse, more resilient economy. If you are part of such a community and would like to discuss potential WI REV program participation, please contact Lisa Taylor at lisa.taylor@wisc.edu.

Wisconsin REV is led by UW-Madison Division of Extension’s Community Economic Development Program in partnership with Community and Economic Development, Associates (CEDA), Compeer Financial, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), and Energizing Entrepreneurs “e2” framework.

This effort is being funded by:

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