An Inch Wide & A Mile Deep: Southern’s targeted approach to rural revitalization
Having worked for 10 years in the rural outback of Mississippi with a relatively rich array of development finance tools at their disposal, Southern Development Bancorporation had marginal success to point to. Instead of packing their bags, they decided to dig deeper to learn and to re-orient their strategies. Systematic analysis of the communities in their region led to adoption of a more targeted approach, a selection of communities where they could leverage their resources most effectively. Most important, they engaged the community in the process, including citizens, resource organizations, service providers, and mature development organizations. The results of a coordinated and strategic approach, where development finance is one piece of the puzzle, has started to make a real difference in a rural region still burdened by the legacies of slavery and plantation agriculture.