The Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) aims to serve rural American communities by driving financially and socially-sustainable rural development. ROI promotes investment in rural America by connecting anchor institutions, national investors and lenders with local ecosystems, including businesses, economic development directors, and local government leaders.
It has been well-established that rural businesses lag behind their urban counterparts in terms of venture and early growth capital investment, and accessing debt and operating capital. At the same time, private investors are eager to identify and support rural growth opportunities, but most are not aware of what is available, and often the deals are misaligned with traditional investment models. The investor experience in U.S. rural communities in some ways mirrors that of impact investors in search of deals overseas in developing regions, where the amount of capital is more robust than the pipeline of deals, and a mismatch exists between the levels and kinds of returns investors seek, and what small and growing businesses can offer.
Business for Impact
Our mission is to unleash the power of business to help people prosper and the planet thrive. We deliver world-class education, purposeful student work, and corporate + community impact with companies, nonprofits, and government leaders to help solve the world’s most pressing issues.
Guided by our belief that companies succeed by balancing the needs of all stakeholders - communities, customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, and the planet - we educate and work with students and executives to manage the triple bottom line - people, planet, and profit.