Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge

The Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge offers a combination of $15 million in funding from 4 agencies, including the U. S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority.


Funding will be awarded in approximately 20 regions through a competitive inter-agency grant process.

In addition, the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge leverages existing technical assistance resources from 9 federal agencies and bureaus to promote economic growth in rural regions and accelerate innovation-fueled job creation and global competitiveness.

This opportunity will support customized solutions targeted to address the gaps and opportunities specific for individual regions by strengthening linkages to self-identified, high-potential industry clusters such as renewable energy, natural resources, food production, rural tourism, and advanced manufacturing.

Related Programs

Rural Community Development Initiative

Department of Agriculture

Rural Business Opportunity Grants

Department of Agriculture

Economic Adjustment Assistance

Department of Commerce

Appalachian Research, Technical Assistance, and Demonstration Projects

Appalachian Regional Commission

Agency: Department of Commerce

Office: Economic Development Administration

Estimated Funding: $15,000,000

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Link to the full announcement on the Rural Jobs Accelerator website.

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Please note that the above is a combined list of eligible applicants – not all of the above-listed applicants are eligible for both EDA and USDA funding.

Please read the full announcement for the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge carefully to determine which entities are eligible for EDA and USDA funding.

For EDA applicants: pursuant to PWEDA, an eligible applicant for and eligible recipient of EDA investment assistance under this announcement include a(n): (1) District Organization; (2) Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; (3) State, city or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; (4) institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or (5) public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.

See section 3 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C.

§ 3122) and 13 C.F.R.

§ 300.3.

For USDA applicants: Private, nonprofit, including faith-based and community organizations, and public (including Tribal) intermediary organizations may apply for funds that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development.

The Intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant.

The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per Intermediary is $50,000.00 and $300,000.00.

The Recipient, but not the Intermediary, must be located in a city or town that has a population of less than 50,000 inhabitants.

As noted above, please read the full announcement carefully for complete information.

Full Opportunity Web Address:

Rebecca Moudry

Agency Email Description:
Program Analyst

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a 1970s book by author Paulo Freire, envisions a world not as a given reality, but as “a problem to be worked on and solved.” That mentality is often applied to the greatest social entrepreneurs.

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