Support for Rural Business Development

Over the past decade, the marketplace has seen a shift of large corporations taking their headquarters, distribution networks and support staff to areas that are more efficient from which to operate on a global scale. Given these changes, coupled with the availability of resources, there has been a sharp increase in rural business development. 

As corporations move, businesses look for opportunities in smaller markets. Rural business owners contribute to both economic development and community enrichment in these markets. Rural business owners usually have lived in the community they want to do business in; therefore, they are deeply connected to its needs and wants. 

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University recently hired a new rural business development manager to support rural businesses, both new and existing. As entrepreneurs and established business owners look for opportunities in the changing marketplace, Cameron Horn will work side by side with these individuals to identify and capitalize on potential opportunities. Among the support he can offer: 

  • Help starting a business, both legally in the State of Illinois and effectively in a rural market;
  • Identifying partners and new funding sources for the business and as well as assistance in promoting and achieving growth; and
  • Identifying, developing and evaluating training programs specifically for rural areas. 

Horn has more than 19 years of rural business experience, owning and operating two family businesses in both the retail and service industries. He attained his bachelor’s degree in management and leadership and MBA in marketing from Bradley University. Prior to becoming rural business development manager, he served as a business advisor for the SBDC. For more information, contact Horn at or (309) 271-9244. iBi

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