Ecosystem Builder Interview with Bret Carpenter of Reinventing Rural  

Rural communities are so often left behind, but if we work to bridge the resource gap and empower these communities to work together for the common good, we can change the region as a whole. This week, episode 6 of Entrepreneurship on the RISE Podcast is about bridging the resource gap in rural communities!

CO.STARTERS Generator is a modular, self-paced program that helps middle school, high school, and college students explore their passions through generating, testing, and launching ideas for businesses and social ventures. With the ability to participate individually or with a classroom or community group, CO.STARTERS Generator is a great way to inspire youth with the vision, enthusiasm, and tenacity needed to move from idea to action. 

In this episode of Entrepreneurship on the RISE Podcast, Jacob and Lauren, joined by their guest Bret Carpenter are sharing the importance of providing the resources needed to help smaller communities survive and prosper in the digital world and creating a pipeline for entrepreneurship by bringing the right resources into our schools.

By working together, rural communities can band together and create cyclical resources that provide feedback to the region. 


Bret Carpenter

Business Instructor, Reinventing Rural Ambassador, Business Advisor and Technology Geek | Benton County, Oregon


In this episode, we sat down with Bret Carpenter of Benton County, Oregon.  Bret has a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship and small business support. He describes himself as Business Instructor, Reinventing Rural Ambassador, Business Advisor and Technology Geek.

We met Bret back in 2021 through a series of virtual trainings hosted by our partners at CO.STARTERS. Although Oregon and Virginia are literally across the country from each other, the entrepreneurship ecosystem building work happening in both places is driven by a belief in rural America. 

Key Takeaways

  • The commonalities between small home businesses and larger, more established companies (hint: they have more in common than you might think.)
  • How Mighty Networks brings smaller communities to share resources and grow together. 
  • The importance of having an online presence for rural businesses and how the pandemic has encouraged this pivot more now than ever. 
  • Co. Starters and Idea Buddy are two valuable resources to promote growth in these communities by forging a path forward. 
  • Helpful resources for expanding technological literacy for both students and businesses. 
  • How Mentor Match helps students build entrepreneurial skills and teaches them there is more than one path than going into corporate America.

About Reinventing Rural

Reinventing Rural is an online community focused on helping rural communities in the Pacific Northwest embrace their rugged culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn more at