Rural Business

Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP)


The Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP) promotes economic development in mostly rural areas by helping to meet the equity capital investment needs of smaller enterprises located in such areas. USDA licenses newly formed for-profit investment fund entities as Rural Business Investment Company's (RBIC)s. RBIC’s use the equity raised in capitalizing their fund to make equity, and equity-like, investments mostly in smaller enterprises located primarily in rural areas.


What are the borrower's requirements?

An applicant may be eligible to apply for an RBIC license if the company:

  1. Is a newly formed for-profit entity or a newly formed for-profit subsidiary of such an entity.
  2. Has a qualified management team with experience in relevant venture capital financing or community development financing.
  3. Will invest in enterprises that will create wealth and job opportunities in rural areas, with an emphasis on smaller enterprises.

RBIC applicants must identify the rural areas their fund will target and demonstrate how the fund will assist those areas through disciplined, profit-oriented investing in rural enterprises.

Other Requirements

RBIC applicants will also be requested to address the following requirements:

  1. At least 75% of RBIC investments (measured both by dollars invested and number) must be made in Rural Business Concerns (i.e., an Enterprise whose principal office is located outside a standard metropolitan statistical area or within a community with a population of 50,000 or less).
  2. No more than 10% of investments (measured both by number and dollars invested) may be in Enterprises whose principal office is located in an urban area (defined by the Census as having a population of 150,000 or more.)
  3. At least 50% of RBIC investments (measured both by number and dollars invested) must be in “Smaller Enterprises,” and of those, at least 50% must be in “Small Business Concerns”.