Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) announced this week a $1 million investment that will go toward supporting the state’s rural entrepreneurs. A new initiative, which will be led by UW-Madison’s Division of Extension and WEDC, will provide training, technical assistance, and legal and financial advice to entrepreneurs either to start their own business or bolster an existing one.

“We know that in Wisconsin great ideas can come from anywhere,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO. “Yet rural entrepreneurs often lack the access to capital and network of knowledge of other entrepreneurs. Our aim is to make sure everyone in our state has the chance to turn their great ideas into reality.”

A report released this spring by the Wisconsin Startup Coalition, the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural & Life Sciences and Alliant Energy found that the number of startups created in rural Wisconsin since 1978 has seen a 50% drop.

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