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Money Buzz 03/05

Financing for rural entrepreneurs, increasing wages and more

This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Love of Country

Entrepreneurs in rural regions may soon have a shot at a funding windfall. The Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP), a joint effort of the Department of Agriculture and the SBA, seeks to make available $60 million for equity investing and $3 million in grant-funded technical assistance for businesses in small, rural communities.

Under the program and the current available funding, the SBA anticipates licensing up to three VC firms as Rural Business Investment Companies (RBICs) this year. Each RBIC selected will then have up to 12 months to secure $10 million in private financing, after which each is eligible to receive a commitment for up to $20 million in leverage through the RBIP. Upon licensing, an RBIC is entitled to a $1 million Operational Assistance Grant, explains the SBA's Dennis Byrne.

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