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Many rural communities in the United States are economically depressed. However, while poor rural communities are geographically isolated and small, they are likely to be rich in social capital. We first argue that the nature of the social capital in such communities can either facilitate or constrain the development of business networks among entrepreneurs. We then explain the community-level conditions that might increase the probability of business network effectiveness. The primary opportunities that such networks can exploit and their potential spillover effects on economic development are also identified. Finally, we provide directions for research that can contribute to better public policy decisions.