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 The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Tennessee Rural Economic Development


National Reports Growth Entrepreneurs Profiled
February 2012
There is quite of bit of debate around what the entrepreneur target should be for development. Many strategies focus either on start-ups or high growth. Both are legitimate focus areas. BUT, the authors recommend serious consideration of what they call growth-oriented entrepreneurs as the sweet spot for development.

National Reports Cashing in on Business Opportunities
January 2012
From business plans to taxes to budgeting to inventory, Cashing in on Business Opportunities provides a complete manual for starting, maintaining, and growing a business. Comprised of over 20 lessons – with more to come – Cashing offers entrepreneurs and the educators who serve them the technical knowledge and skills needed to manage a business.

Trend Report Resolutions for Entrepreneurs in 2012
December 2011
University of Tennessee Extension rural business development specialist Michael Wilcox and his collaborator Elena Hacker, a small business owner from South Carolina, say entrepreneurs should take advantage of the favorable climate and combine 2012 resolutions with some well thought out reflections on 2011, especially regarding what worked and what didn’t in the business.
Michael Wilcox & Elena Hacker

Trend Report Small Business Seminars
December 2011
A new TREND publication promoting economic development through a community of support for small business
Amanda Mathenia, Dr. Michael Wilcox, Creig Kimbro, and Dr. Alan Barefield

Tennessee Report “Empowering Women in Agriculture and Small Business”
2011 Homefront to Heartland Conference Presentations and Videos
This conference strives to empower women to return to their farm, business, community and family with new confidence, ideas and techniques to help them better manage finances, communication, time and stress. Discussion topics include marketing, financial management, media and computer skills, government relations and nutrition, health and wellness.

Trend Report The rural growth trifecta: outdoor amenities, creative class and entrepreneurial context
Journal of Economic Geography (May 2010) pp. 1-29
Recent work challenges the notion that attracting creative workers to a place is sufficient for generating local economic growth. In this article, we examine the problem of sustaining robust growth in the periphery of the USA, demonstrating the contingent nature of talent as an engine for economic growth. We test the hypothesis that rural growth in the knowledge economy is dependent on the ability to utilize new knowledge, perhaps generated elsewhere, in addressing local economic challenges. Tests confirm that the interaction of entrepreneurial context with the share of the workforce employed in the creative class is strongly associated with growth in the number of new establishments and employment, particularly in those rural counties endowed with attractive outdoor amenities.
David A. McGranahan, Timothy R. Wojan, and Dayton M. Lambert

Trend ReportsEntrepreneurship and Economic Development in Tennessee
TN. March 6, 2009
Presented at First Friday Forum sponsored by the Jackson Chamber of Commerce in Jackson
Michael Wilcox and Dayton Lambert

Trend Reports Entrepreneurship in Tennessee: Striving for Success
November 2008
Dr. Michael D. Wilcox, Jr and Dr. Dayton M. Lambert
Department of Agricultural Economics
Entrepreneurship has received an increasing amount of attention among researchers, economic development professionals, policymakers and local government officials, as the singular emphasis on industrial recruitment broadens to a more comprehensive strategy that encompasses business creation, retention and expansion. Entrepreneurs continue to play an ever more important role in Tennessee’s economy, generating more than $23 billion (in the form of total nonfarm proprietor income or $31,693 per nonfarm proprietor) or 12 percent of total personal income. This constituted 84 percent of all Tennessee employer firms (in the form of firms with fewer than 20 employees) and made up nearly 20 percent of Tennessee’s 3,724,901 total jobs in 2006.
Watch the video promotion on YouTube
Listen to the presentation of findings audio file
PowerPoint Presentation
Executive Summary
Accent on Agriculture audio file

Trend Reports Tennessee Losing Entrepreneurs in Rural Areas
September 22, 2008
WPLN News Transcript

Trend Reports Entrepreneurship in Tennessee: Striving for Success
September 15, 2008
Invited Presentation at the 2008 Economic and Community Development Governor's Conference, Nashville, TN
Michael D. Wilcox, Jr. and Dayton M. Lambert

National Reports What Does 'Entrepreneurship' Data Really Show
August 2008
This paper compares two datasets designed to measure entrepreneurship. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor dataset captures early-stage entrepreneurial activity; the World Bank Group Entrepreneurship Survey dataset captures formal business registration. There are a number of important differences when the data are compared. This discrepancy can be interpreted as the spread between individuals who could potentially operate businesses in the formal sector - and those that actually do so: In other words, GEM data may represent the potential supply of entrepreneurs, whereas the World Bank data may represent the actual rate of entrepreneurship.
Zoltan J. Acs, Sameeksha Desai and Leora F. Klapper
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4667

National Reports Self-Employment in Rural America: The New Reality
Rural Realities, Vol. 2, No. 3 (2008)
This latest installment of the Rural Sociological Society’s policy brief series offers a snapshot of how self-employment is playing out in different locales across the country, with a particular focus on rural areas.The brief also provides key directions for policymakers in supporting and advancing local self-employment. SRDC
Stephen J. Goetz

National Reports The Voices of the People: Strategies for Expanding Entrepreneurship in the Rural South
April 2007
The Southern Rural Development Center, in partnership with its fellow Regional Rural Development Centers and the National Coalition for Rural Entrepreneurship, conducted nine listening sessions around the South to gain insight into the state of entrepreneurship in rural communities and to better understand which policies and programs can help foster entrepreneurship in these areas. The findings represent a core set of activities that must be launched if rural communities in the South are to be successful in creating an environment where entrepreneurship is promoted, nurtured and sustained over the long term.

Trend Reports "Does Place Contribute to Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation?"
December 7-8, 2007
Paper Presented at "Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations of the Future," a Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium
Timothy R. Wojan, Economic Research Service, USDA; Dayton Lambert, University of Tennessee and David A. McGranahan, Economic Research Service, USDA

Trend Reports Entrepreneurship - Building Community Wealth: A Small Business Development Workshop   

National Reports Strategies for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
You will find five key strategies for supporting rural entrepreneurs elaborated in this book. An entrepreneur’s story illustrates the success of each strategy. The concluding section offers research on the importance and effectiveness of the strategy and the essential role of public policy.

Tennessee Report Braving the Waters: A Guide for Tennessee's Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Jolyn Pope