Grow Economic Opportunity

The University of Nebraska Extension's Community Vitality Initiative offers a variety of engagement opportunities to help communities understand and enable business opportunities based around their assets and aspirations. Our educators work with communities and other resource providers to find the best solutions for your community. Click the program name below to learn more about the program and get contact information!

  • Entrepreneurial Communities (eCommunities)

    A new signature program, the E-Communities Program can work with communities in Nebraska for up to two years focusing on entrepreneur-led economic development. This asset-based program provides a framework and process that can help communities better understand its entrepreneurial talent, their needs and how to build an area resource network to address business development needs. The program also helps communities get organized for entrepreneur-lead economic development and evolve a sustainability strategy.

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  • Nebraska SourceLink

    Established in partnership with the Nebraska Business Development Center, Nebraska SourceLink is an online database to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and communities find resources near them to tackle whatever issue they may be facing.

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  • Marketing Hometown America

    Marketing Hometown America engages communities through small group conversations to get more people involved and more voices heard. Designed as a tool to create dialogue that moves toward action, it can be the spark to help a rural community look at itself and the recruitment and retention of new residents in a new way.

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  • Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference

    Our signature conference, the CEC Conference showcases topics, case studies, and networking to help support those who work on entrepreneurship and economic development.

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  • Nebraska Cooperative Development Center

    NCDC provides education, training, and technical assistance to cooperatively owned businesses, be it a cooperative, an LLC, or other business structure. NCDC services are available for all types of business enterprises.

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  • Farm and Ranch Succession

    Help farms, ranches, businesses, and entrepreneurs improve skills for good family communications/relations, and the emphasizing the importance of having a succession/transition plan.

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  • Red Carpet Service

    Red Carpet Service is an educational program led by Extension to help business personnel on the front-line: 1) identify traveler needs; 2) develop service skills; 3) discover tools to promote tourism; and 4) appreciate local hidden treasures.

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  • Latino Small Business Program

    The Latino Small Business Program provides one-on-one technical assistance and free consultation for Latino entrepreneurs or current business owners on business plan development, marketing plan development and support, references and resources, networking and support in complying with legal and financial requirements for small businesses.

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  • Nebraska Regional Food Systems

    The Nebraska Regional Food Systems program is an emerging effort to bring together and expand upon the diverse resources within the University of Nebraska in support of a robust community food system. Working in collaboration with other key food systems partners, this effort seeks to maximize the potential for community-based, economically sustainable, and environmentally and socially responsible food enterprises by supporting education, conducting research, and facilitating partnerships.

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