FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Wealth Creation in Rural Communities
The aim of the Wealth Creation in Rural America initiative is to help low-wealth rural areas overcome their isolation and integrate into regional economies in ways that increase their ownership and influence over various kinds of wealth. The Ford Foundation envisions this approach to improve the livelihoods of low-income individuals, households and communities as one that will have widespread application in many places. Toward that end, the evolution of the approach is being chronicled and shared on an annual basis with fellow practitioners and interested parties. In this third year, the Wealth Creation in Rural Communities initiative has:
- Worked with four Value Chain Construction grantees in Central Appalachia and eight Value Chain Exploration grantees in the Delta and Alabama Black Belt.
- Delivered introductory wealth creation workshops in Mississippi and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
- Selected three Value Chain Exploration grantees in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
- Co-founded and facilitated the Appalachian Funders Network.
- Created a new website to tell the story of the wealth creation approach at www.creatingruralwealth.org
- Created over 100 tools to assist grantees in value chain exploration and construction.
Wealth Creation in Rural Communities has been supported by the Ford Foundation since early 2008 in an exploration of a “wealth-creation” approach to rural economic development. The goal of Wealth Creation in Rural Communities is to create a framework for development that works economically, ecologically, and socially – making rural communities more economically competitive; preserving each region’s ecological heritage; and drawing more people into the life of the community. It is hoped that this framework can help rural development practitioners craft strategies and create institutions that steward rural America’s assets in more effective ways.