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Get Ready to Dream

Blog, News & Events on April 19th. Comments Off on Get Ready to Dream

RuralX17 keynote speaker Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts wants you to build a better block in your rural community. And he’s just the guy to tell you how to do it.

As the co-founder of The Better Block Project, a neighborhood revitalization effort that won him the Champions of Change award from the White House in 2012, Jason’s ideas and visions for bringing life back into dying neighborhoods have become a national movement around the globe.

“It all started when some friends and I decided to build our dream neighborhood block in 24-hours using less than $1,000,” he explains. “Simply by adding things like a bike lane, string lights, flowers, outdoor tables, pop-up shops and incorporating local art and music, it became a place people wanted to be.”

From there, The Better Block initiative became an international movement and has been featured in the NY … Read More »


OpenX spurs a new event

Blog, News & Events on April 19th. Comments Off on OpenX spurs a new event

OpenX brings women to the table for an exciting new event in Aberdeen

What started as an OpenX topic at last summer’s RuralX Summit has evolved into the inaugural Northeast Women’s Business Conference next spring.

The idea to host the women’s conference was inspired by Helen Merriman, Director of SD Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) at Black Hills State University.  Helen was attending RuralX as a way to connect with more resources and entrepreneurial thinkers across the state.

“As director of the only Women’s Business Center in South Dakota, I am always looking for new ways to connect with more people,” she explains. “I hosted an OpenX table conversation to see if there was any interest in holding a women’s business conference in northeast South Dakota, and the women at my table showed significant interest. We were able to identify nine women … Read More »


Dakota Rising Fellows Do It All

Blog, News & Events on April 13th. Comments Off on Dakota Rising Fellows Do It All

From bakers to builders, there are all kinds of entrepreneurs in this world. Our Dakota Rising Fellows are a diverse group, but they quickly bond over the shared passions and challenges of being rural business owners. No matter what business you bring to the table, you will be part of something truly special as a Dakota Rising Fellow — just check out the esteemed list of entrepreneurs you’ll be joining, if you apply.

FOOD AND DRINK

Burger Shack | Melanie Hoke, Faulkton

Cheryl’s Catering Service | Cheryl Schaefers, Polo

Crow Peak Brewing Company | Josh Fritz and Jeff Drumm, Spearfish

Hot Springs Vault | Cristin Stewart, Hot Springs

Lotus Up Espresso and Deli | Jamie Gilcrease-Heupel, Lead

The Cake Lady | Cheryl Swatek, Wagner

Vanilla Bean Bakery | Peg Austin, Spearfish

Wild Dutchman Products | Tobey Vander Laan, Mound City

FLORAL AND LANDSCAPING

Dakota Greens of Custer | Jeff Prior, Custer

Read More »


Dakota Rising Graduates Celebrate True Fellowship

Blog, News & Events on April 6th. Comments Off on Dakota Rising Graduates Celebrate True Fellowship

The most recent class of Dakota Rising Fellowship graduates were asked to reflect on their fellowship experience and to compare their original goals to their actual outcomes. Their hard work and commitment to the three-year program is evident in their answers, and their belief in the value of Dakota Rising makes us proud. We thank these amazing rural business owners for supporting one another and our mission of engaging, empowering and supporting entrepreneurs and local businesses.

MELANIE HOKE |BURGER SHACK, FAULKTON

DAKOTA RISING GOALS
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» Purchase a new heating and cooling system
» Enclose patio and pursue being open year-round
» Increase sales $30,000-$40,000 per year
» Learn to use P.O.S. software instead of hand writing everything
» Become a bigger and better resource for the community and school—hire more people, teenagers, etc.

AFTER DAKOTA RISING
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» Became a year-round business after the first year in … Read More »


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