Grand Challenge News: Center Success Story

Center Success Story: TCRI Receives USDA Grant for Second Season of “It’s Your Business with Michael Aikens”

USDA grant graphicRural Reimagined recognizes and congratulates the Center for Rural Innovation and Director Michael Aikens for receiving a $100,000, USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) which will fund a second season of “It’s Your Business with Michael Aikens.” This PBS television series, a production of WCTE Central TN PBS, extends Aiken’s mission to tell the stories of rural entrepreneurs, business owners, and community leaders through their voices, with the goal being to foster rural business emergence, creation, and resilience.” Due to COVID-19, many local businesses within our rural region have experienced economic hardship.

Through USDA funding, the television series will continue to bring attention to challenges that our surrounding rural communities face, in addition to raising awareness of available small business resources while broadcasting and facilitating the emergence, creation, and resilience of rural businesses and entrepreneurship in our region. Aikens states, “it is with great honor that we embark upon a second season of the show. My goal is to shed light on the amazing stories of resilience and innovation exhibited by the small businesses in our Upper Cumberland region. The second season will follow on the massive success of the first eight episodes, and will continue to serve as a voice for entrepreneurship, diversity, and growth in our communities. Be sure to tune in starting this October.” Watch the entire first season here: Wings up! 


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