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Money Buzz 03/05

Financing for rural entrepreneurs, increasing wages and more

By Jennifer Pellet • Mar 1, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Love of Country

Entrepreneurs in rural regions may soon have a shot at a fundingwindfall. The Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP), a jointeffort of the Department of Agriculture and the SBA, seeks to makeavailable $60 million for equity investing and $3 million ingrant-funded technical assistance for businesses in small, ruralcommunities.

Under the program and the current available funding, the SBAanticipates licensing up to three VC firms as Rural BusinessInvestment Companies (RBICs) this year. Each RBIC selected willthen have up to 12 months to secure $10 million in privatefinancing, after which each is eligible to receive a commitment forup to $20 million in leverage through the RBIP. Upon licensing, anRBIC is entitled to a $1 million Operational Assistance Grant,explains the SBA's Dennis Byrne.

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