THEORY OF CHANGE
If we support rural startups, nonprofits and small business owners, who have been traditionally excluded, through inclusive and equitable access to capital and resources, then we will enable sustainable, thriving rural communities as measured through improved social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Our Rural Community Goals
Create and retain jobs through assisting emerging and existing businesses
Provide access to capital and technical assistance that create and build community assets, infrastructure, and technology, leading to new businesses/nonprofits and job creation
Help previously underserved rural entrepreneurs by building a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem
Listen to our rural communities’ needs, and work with our collaborators and partners to co-design inclusive and culturally-competent technical assistance, mentorship, events, and other resources needed to support our rural ecosystem
Build partnerships and collaborations that uniquely leverage financial resources
Leverage FSWCF assets and Hellobello expertise with First SouthWest Bank and other financial institutions to create greater access to capital for rural entrepreneurs
Where We Work
No town in our footprint has a population larger than 20,000; meeting all United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definitions of rural.
Eight of our rural counties have an unemployment rate above the statewide average and six counties have an unemployment rate above the nationwide average of 8.3%.
Seven of our rural counties have a Hispanic population larger than the statewide average of 17%; of those seven counties, four of them have a Hispanic population larger than 40% and two are majority Hispanic.