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"Entrepreneurship is the pursuit, creation and capture of extraordinary value"
–Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Management Practice, Babson Global

The History of TCRE

TCRE was formally incorporated as a non-profit in October 2003.  The incorporation was the result of a planning process that began in August 1999 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Texas Cooperative Extension and the Texas Department of Agriculture to establish a cooperative effort between the two agencies to develop joint rural economic development projects.  The focus of the agreement was on the development of the Texas Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative (TREI).

In December 2001, the TREI convened a group of rural stakeholders that included representation from rural entrepreneurs, city government, economic development corporations, state and federal agencies and legislators to begin dialog on developing strategies to support rural entrepreneurship.  This group became known as the Rural Entrepreneurship Academy.  One of the outcomes of the meeting was a resolution to establish a on-line webportal to serve as a virtual point of coordination between rural entrepreneurs and the entities that are available to support them.

In February 2002, a subcommittee of the Academy met in Austin to develop an operational plan for the recommendations made at the Academy meeting.  The concept of the Texas Center for Rural Entrepreneurship was created and a proposed business plan for the formation of the Center was created.

In April 2002, the subcommittee presented the plan to the Academy participants at an academy meeting in Mason, Texas.  With modifications made by participants, the plan was approved and a directive was given to Dr. Clary to move forward with the development of TCRE as a non-profit, development of the webportal and establishment of Rural Entrepreneurship Alliances.

In June 2002, the third Academy meeting was held in Jasper, Texas, to launch the first REA and begin discussions on developing a TCRE model project with the Jasper, Newton, Sabine County REA.

In October 2002, Academy participants met in Early, Texas to discuss the role of business incubators in rural entrepreneurship and to continue to implement TCRE.  Participants learned that Wood County had received a Texas Infrastructure Fund Community Networking grant and wanted to establish a REA and create the TCRE web portal.

October 2003 represented the culmination of the effort began in 1999 when the Wood County REA launched the TCRE web portal and the Newton Economic Development Corp. announced the receipt of a $500,000 grant from USDA Rural Utilities Services to create a model project supporting rural entrepreneurs in two REA regions (including Jasper, Newton, Sabine, Tyler Counties and Wood, Van Zandt, Rusk, Cherokee Counties).