The Rural Center is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of rural North Carolinians through the development, promotion and implementation of sound economic strategies.

How can we help your community? The center trains rural leaders from all walks of life to recognize and embrace economic opportunities. We help rural entrepreneurs of all ages start their own businesses, and we provide access to capital so established businesses can grow and create new jobs.

We are passionate about this work. Recent challenges have only strengthened our dedication to it.

If you have a question about current Rural Center initiatives, please contact a staff member. If you have a question about past grant programs, please see this FAQ.


"A further reason to hope comes from the Rural Center"

In a recent newspaper column that was published throughout the state, Tom Campbell of "N.C. Spin" praised the Rural Center's resiliency and refocused dedication to serving rural North Carolina. "We're all in this effort together," he says. Read more.


Apply now for REDI 2015

The next edition of the Rural Economic Development Institute will be held at the Rural Center in Raleigh over the course of nine days this spring: April 15-17, May 20-22 and June 10-12.

Read more about REDI and then apply for the Class of 2015.

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Thanks to you, the Rural Assembly was an incredible success

Many thanks to everyone who made the trip to Raleigh as the center returned to hosting its annual gathering of rural leaders. More than 400 people packed the room for a lively and inspirational conference, highlighted by our presentation of the Rural Center's new strategic vision. If you missed the Assembly, or are interested in reviewing what you learned, the presentations and materials are available online. Read more.




Leadership grads tour Siler City successes

Graduates of the Rural Economic Development Institute visited Siler City recently to see firsthand the differences that dedicated leaders can make in a community. REDI is an intensive, three-month program to train rural leaders, but the education doesn't stop in the classroom. Alumni meet periodically to share success stories and trade ideas for developing and empowering North Carolina's rural communities. For the Siler City meeting, graduates traveled from as far away as Onslow County for networking opportunities and a walking tour of the Chatham County town. Read more.


SBCI continues to count successes, hit milestones

The N.C. Small Business Credit Initiative, which is operated by the Rural Center, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as one of the top programs of its kind in the country. In its most recent quarterly report, Treasury ranked NCSBCI in the top 10 of several important national categories, including the percentage of allocated money that has already moved through the program. Read more. 



Office space available for lease

The Rural Center has space available for lease in its office building on Carya Drive in Raleigh. The building, which is located in a Wake County government office complex with convenient Beltline access, features abundant free parking, shared meeting spaces and a modern conference center. Read more.