AEO’s Regional Flavor gathering in Charleston, SC Dec 1-5, 2008
Posted by deborahmclaren on November 30, 2008
I’m looking forward to participating in a Regional Flavor Learning Cluster this week in Charleston, SC, as part of the Minnesota regional group lead by White Earth Land Recovery Project. The Regional Flavors project is coordinated by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a national leadership organization and the voice of microenterprise development. By providing cutting edge training, knowledge sharing, Federal and State public policy and advocacy, and communications, AEO empowers a community of nearly 500 member organizations to be uniquely effective in serving the needs of microentrepreneurs who do not have access to traditionalsources or business education or capital. Check their website for tools, resources, webinars, and much more.
What is the Regional Flavor Learning Cluster?
Building on our prior Food Sector, Sustainable Tourism, and Artisan Learning Clusters, AEO launched the Regional Flavor Learning Cluster in March 2007. Following a competitive Request for Proposal process, six regional networks in Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, and Ohio were selected for this four year project. Additional support for the Cluster has been secured through an USDA Rural Community Development Initiative grant awarded to AEO in April 2007.
Why Regional Flavor?
As many rural communities experience a ‘loss of power’ in their traditional economic engines (manufacturing, resource extraction, etc), this project offers new hope and opportunity. Utilizing collaborative efforts to implement a mix of rural economic development strategies that incorporate microenterprise development, regional tourism, cultural and historic assets, and agricultural product development, the Regional Flavor approach supports these entities and entrepreneurs in working together to rethink, redefine, and rebrand themselves and their regions.