Lack of adequate access to capital is a major barrier for rural entrepreneurs. Washington State University Extension and the Association of Washington Cities partnered to explore and test an innovative local investment approach that provides access to capital and engages the community in the success of individual businesses. The approach offers local residents the opportunity to invest in local businesses and entrepreneurs the opportunity to find funding through an alternative method. The pilot project engaged more than 26 investors in two communities and led to investment in multiple businesses.

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