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Center for Economics and the Environment: Policy Series


This paper identifies the trends and differences in entrepreneurship between Missouri’s metropolitan and nonmetropolitan (rural) areas to better inform policy intended to promote economic development through entrepreneurship. We examine three different entrepreneurship proxies across time, with a focus on how to best encourage rural entrepreneurship and its resilience going into the next business cycle. We also examine the geography of entrepreneurship in Missouri and highlight areas where greater entrepreneurship may offer a sustainable path to greater economic development. This is important for policymakers to consider, because the “entrepreneurial” businesses in rural Missouri offer communities the goods and services often associated with increases in rural quality-of-life (e.g., café, grocery store, farmers’ market) and help maintain a vibrant sense of place in rural communities. It is this sense of place that is essential to retain other businesses in rural communities, a phenomenon known as place-making.

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Sarah A. Low is an Associate Professor of Regional Economics and Director, Extension’s Regional Economic and Entrepreneurial Development program, University of Missouri. Austin Sanders is a Graduate Research Assistant, Division of Applied Social Sciences, University of Missouri. Mark C. White is an Associate Extension Professor and Interim Director, Institute of Public Policy, Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri. Funding for this study was made possible by the Hammond Institute’s Center for Economics and the Environment, Lindenwood University.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.