MREIC Promotes Rural Economic Development by Helping Small Business

Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a small business have a valuable on-campus resource in the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center (MREIC).

MREIC, established in 2006, is a non-profit innovation center sponsored by the Missouri Department of Economic Development and local partners, including Truman.  Its purpose is to serve as a catalyst for economic development, with particular emphasis on start-up businesses and established firms that are involved in the life sciences and information technology.

It specifically focuses on the needs of rural communities and rural business enterprises across Missouri, especially in the northern half of the state.

The ultimate goal of MREIC is to generate and provide resources to assist innovators, entrepreneurs and existing businesses in the transition of their ideas into successful business ventures and expansions, thereby supporting the economic development of rural portions of Missouri.

MREIC works in collaborations with various organizations and economic development teams to leverage resources and better serve the entire region.

One on-campus partner is the Small Business Development Center, which shares office space with MREIC in Violette Hall. Truman’s SBDC is part of a nationwide network, and one of several that MREIC collaborates within the state. The SBDC provides counseling in such areas as business plan development, financial management, market feasibility, international trade, franchising and licensing, inventory, marketing and more.

In the last year MREIC made contacts with 542 clients. Currently 34 clients are actively pursing business expansions or business start-ups. MREIC’s efforts have translated into five new business ventures and the creation of 10 new jobs.

MREIC resources are available to everyone. Clients have included individuals and even students interested in starting their own business. MREIC currently is supporting the start-up of client ventures with products ranging from food innovations to construction components, and from products with military applications to those for information-intensive security systems.

Other recent notable achievements from MREIC include work on 12 collaborative training programs, approval of two proposals for external funding from the USDA and the University of Missouri Extension, and the launch of MREIC’s interactive, data-base driven website at

Individuals interested in receiving guidance from MREIC can go online or can call the MREIC Hotline, open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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