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K-State Research and Extension


Entrepreneurial and sustainable communities focus on capital in seven areas:  natural resources, cultural dynamics, human development, social connections, political environment, financial resources, and infrastructure.

Cornelia and Jan Flora (2008) developed the Community Capitals Framework as an approach to analyze how communities work. Based on their research to uncover characteristics of entrepreneurial and sustainable communities, they found that the communities most successful in supporting healthy sustainable community and economic development paid attention to all seven types of capital: natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial and built. In addition to identifying the capitals and the role each plays in community economic development, this approach also focuses on the interaction among these seven capitals as well as how investments in one capital can build assets in others.

Community Capitals

Community Capital Resources

Materials attributed to South Dakota State University. Click the links below for more information and resources on each Community Capital:


Cultural Capital

Human Capital

Political Capital

Built Capital

Financial Capital

Natural Capital

Social Capital

Community Assessment Tool