Helping Communities Shine

Whether researching and implementing ways to shape a community's economic development plan or partnering to create ways to put people to work, CREC connects researchers and policymakers with:

     • Data training
     • Custom portfolios that aid regional competitiveness

Project Profile

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia

Appalachian Regional Commission
Start Date: Oct 2016 — End Date: Mar 2018

CREC partnered with EntreWorks Consulting and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to provide insight on entrepreneurial resources across Appalachia, which covers 420 counties across 13 states. The team provided a comprehensive view of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystems by providing research findings on entrepreneurship, identifying innovation indicators, developing an inventory of entrepreneurship programs and initiatives, and conducting case study visits in eight target locations. The project helped Appalachian Regional Commission and its partners better understand how to build and nurture entrepreneurial ecosystems. The project provided access to new tools and data to better understand how ecosystems work and how all communities—especially those in distressed regions—can capture the emerging opportunities that accompany a thriving entrepreneurial economy. The data were captured a published at

Research & Planning

About the Client

Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.