NEWS: New regional mapping project to boost entrepreneur access to resources across Delta region

May 04, 2016

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Delta Regional Authority is seeking proposals for a mapping and research project that will connect rural small business owners and entrepreneurs with the resources, support organizations, and tools that will help them grow their business towards economic success.

The Delta Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Mapping project will identify the physical and digital resources that are available throughout the Delta region for potential and current entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“What we’re hearing from small businesses and entrepreneurs across our region is they need help in connecting with the resources and organizations that can set them up to build out their business, access consumer markets and capital, and plan for economic changes,” said Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

DRA is seeking a research partner to develop the mapping project. The project will produce a comprehensive map of resources and a report on those resources, including the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the ecosystem to be used by DRA to guide entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“This project will identify existing resources that can bridge the access gap for our existing small businesses to utilize the tools at their disposal and empower future entrepreneurs to pursue their business ideas right here in the Delta,” Chairman Masingill said. “As importantly, the project’s recommendations will help local, state, and regional leaders develop new resources to address current gaps.”

A request for proposals has been released, and DRA is accepting proposals from research institutions and organizations within the Delta region until June 3, 2016. The RFP can be downloaded at www.dra.gov/smallbiz.

The Ecosystem Mapping project is part of the DRA’s Small Business & Entrepreneurship Initiative that Chairman Masingill and alternate federal co-chairman Mike Marshall started in 2010 to direct investments and research efforts toward strengthening small businesses in the Delta region. The project aligns with two of the components of the DRA Small Business & Entrepreneurship Policy Framework: cultivating technology exchange and innovation and improving access to capital.

Last year the Initiative developed the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, which has provided more than 60 fellowships to current entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship support organizations in the Delta to develop their skill sets and help improve the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. These investments target public infrastructure, workforce development, small businesses and entrepreneurs, transportation systems, and access to healthcare.

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Spencer Lucker
(202) 434-4842
slucker@dra.gov