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Ohio State University Extension


New Community Development Program Focuses on Entrepreneurship

OSU Extension’s new Community Development program, Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community (BEFC), is ready to be shared in communities across the state that want to unlock the potential of local business development.

Customized specifically for each community, this flexible curriculum can be delivered directly to local participants by the BEFC team or can be shared in a train-the-trainer format for those interested in facilitating this process themselves.

BEFC will help local community and business leaders; understand the contribution of entrepreneurs to their local economy and jobs, identify and plan strategies that can help grow local entrepreneurs, and position their community as an environment supportive of/conducive to entrepreneurial success.

BEFC will empower leaders to build capacity and promote entrepreneurship through; understanding of entrepreneurs’ needs, creation of a community economic profile, awareness of federal, state, and local programs that support entrepreneurs, and creation of an entrepreneur-specific strategic plan to create an entrepreneur-friendly community. 

Anticipated program outcomes: 

  • Communities will nurture an environment conducive to the creation, growth, and success of entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

  • Communities will better understand their local economy by receiving sectoral and demographic profiles through an Entrepreneurship Wellness Profile identifying gaps and opportunities.

  • Local leaders will understand their critical role in building an entrepreneurial culture.

  • Local leaders will build capacity to promote entrepreneurial growth by developing key program competencies.

  • Communities will build a roadmap (strategic plan) to follow in their entrepreneur development initiatives.

For more information, visit or contact any of the BEFC team members below:

Nancy Bowen-Ellzey (, field specialist, community economics

Myra Moss (, educator, community development

Becky Nesbitt (, educator, community development

Gwynn Stewart (, educator, community development

Kyle White (, educator, community development

In memoriam: We would like to acknowledge our colleague and friend, Godwin Apaliyah, Extension educator, community development, who was a member of this team and instrumental in helping to develop and present this program.