A catalyst for citizen-led, rural transformation

Calling All Rural Changemakers!

Collaboration is capacity

We believe centering rural voices and collaborating to co-create innovative, local solutions are the keys to building a more sustainable and equitable future for rural America.

Together, we'll explore bold ideas, co-create trailblazing projects, and replicate impactful, local solutions on a national scale to address our share rural challenges. Through our collective impact, we can reenergize 21st century rural America.


TractorBeam is a social enterprise on a mission to enable rural transformation at scale.

Our platform allows rural changemakers to co-create & share innovative solutions to the challenges facing their communities.

Did you know?

76% of US towns have less than 5000 people
42% of those town have populations under 500 

Despite national attention on the social & economic challenges facing rural communities, the billions of dollars that are committed to rural development rarely make it into the smallest communities that need it most.

One major factor at play is the need for metrics. The agencies and organizations that allocate those funds need to show adequate impact if they hope to have access to the funds in the future. So, often, these investments are made in "rural" cities with 15,000 - 30,000 people.

Small towns reinventing the wheel

This means small towns need to constantly reinvent the wheel, finding solutions to complex social & economic challenges with limited knowledge and even more limited resources. They struggle to create & implement local or regional initiatives.

Imagine one small town with a population of 2000 people launched a program that doubled the household income for 10 families. That's a massive impact! Yet it's still not the kind of impact that brings major funding to town.

If rural communities could work together & combine their resources, they could create incredible programs that have massive collective impact on a national scale.

A map of the USA. There are arrows to 5 areas on the map (presumably rural towns). These arrows point to 5 different, small lego models. One of a tiny house, one of a tree, on of a small car, and one of a little monster. The last arrow points to a pile of disconnected lego.
What kinds of things can we build alone?
This is a massive lego sculpture found in lego headquarters. It's a tree that spans at least 3 stories of the open lobby area. The branches of the tree each have an intricate lego scene built on them. In the background, there are people standing on a balcony viewing the structure. The people are small, showing the incredible scale of the sculpture.
What kinds of things can we build together?

What does collective impact look like?

Now imagine 100 towns around the country implemented that same program, doubling the household income for 1000 families! That's the kind of impact that gets the attention of the people holding the purse strings. 

The popular narrative is that rural America needs more capacity: (funds, talent, infrastructure, etc.) to effect meaningful change. While those are definitely important and needed, we have another path. What Rural America needs is a voice in crafting rural solutions, cross-community collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

And that's where TractorBeam comes in.

A framework for

Collective Impact

We can activate the rural ecosystem by providing tools to make collaboration easier between rural communities, changemakers, and entrepreneurs as well as rural-focused foundations, agencies, companies, and researchers.

Together, alongside partners & within the TractorBeam Communities of Practice, we can clearly define the challenges to prioritize & the kinds of solutions that would have the most impact.

Through TractorBeam's grassroots innovation platform, we'll publish open challenges where any rural resident can make a real difference (and maybe even win prizes) by submitting their creative solutions to the stickiest challenges facing rural communities. 

Through our project development process in the Communities of Practice, we'll design and pilot the best ideas that were selected from the grassroots challenge competitions.

Once initiatives have been piloted, we can scale the impact by sharing turn-key project toolkits for the solutions we co-create together. When rural communities nationwide can implement local initiatives at scale, we can create collective impact.

By measuring and publishing the collective impact of our shared solutions, we'll build momentum for catalytic rural transformation as more stakeholders support our work and amplify our stories. 

tb model

Be a part of the rural (r)evolution

If our work aligns with your goals or interests, let's plan a time to chat about how you can join us in creating a brighter future for rural America.


Focus Areas

Four Intersecting Focus Areas

  • Community Belonging

    Feeling a sense of belonging and participating in your community benefits individuals, organizations and communities alike. There's no economic vitality without connectedness. It has a direct impact on the health and well-being of community members and on community prosperity.

  • Creative Economies

    Build sustainable, resilient, creative economies by shifting the traditional rural economic development focus away from large resource extraction companies and toward developing the talents & passions of the people living within their communities.

  • Digital Inclusion

    Activate a rural tech ecosystem to develop rural tech talent, prepare rural workers for remote career opportunities, and create the relationships & infrastructure needed to foster full rural participation in the digital economy.

  • Rural Entrepreneurship

    Create paths to rural micro-business ownership & rural entrepreneurship by increasing access to training, developing local startup ecosystems, and developing rural pathways to the existing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Work with Us

As a social enterprise, our services support our work. We would love to discuss ways we can work together.

  • Catalyst Consulting
    • Workshop Facilitation 
    • Program Design & Development 
  • Sponsored Grassroots Social Innovation Challenges 
  • Custom Community-Designed Innovation Challenges 
  • Workshops & Events
  • Local Innovation Platform-as-a-Service (coming soon)

Be a part of the rural (r)evolution

If our work aligns with your goals or interests, let's plan a time to chat about how you can join us in creating a brighter future for rural America.