Proposal Submission Letter

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The Virtual Community Group, Inc.
17 Park Road
Rural Town, NH
July 1, 1995
Jane Smith, Executive Director
Xavier Foundation
555 S. Smith St.
Washington, D.C. 22222
Dear Ms. Smith,
I am pleased to submit this proposal from the Virtual Community Group, Inc., requesting an investment of $50,000 per year over two years from the Xavier Foundation to support our Enterprise 2000 initiative. This grant would provide part of the funds needed for us to train at least 1200 low-income entrepreneurs in rural New Hampshire, helping them acquire the computer skills they need to create sustainable local businesses as we enter the twenty-first century. As elsewhere in the U.S., the economic health of New Hampshire's rural communities has suffered steady decline since the early 1900's. Family farms, which once formed an economic base supporting large numbers of rural inhabitants, have been all but eradicated by large-scale agribusiness. Moreover, since 1960, New Hampshire has lost xx% of its manufacturing jobs, as corporations or local factories have shut down or moved operations out of state. As a result, many thousands of individuals from New Hampshire -- particularly our young people -- are moving to cities to seek jobs, not only depopulating and further impoverishing rural communities, but contributing to the growing pool of urban unemployed. By tapping the energy of the small local entrepreneur, and linking it to the explosion in communications technologies, we believe it is possible to reverse this trend, enabling rural inhabitants to retain viable, high-quality jobs far from industrial and urban centers. Small towns would again offer a wide spectrum of employment opportunities -- from small manufacturing to services to retail -- and develop sound, diversified economies for the first time in generations. Unfortunately, many small entrepreneurs cannot afford either the training or equipment needed to participate in the rewards of the...
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