Lost Nation Downtown Revitalization Study

Academic Year 
John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center - Entrepreneurial Management Institute


Students in the Entrepreneurial Management Institute: Business Consulting class conducted research and made recommendations on best competitive practices to attract small entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial businesses to locate in downtown Lost Nation.

Like many small rural communities, Lost Nation (pop. 446) faces challenges in the attraction and retention of businesses to their downtown district.  Shifting demographics and technological advancements have negatively impacted commercial activity in the business district, leaving behind many empty and underutilized buildings and storefronts.   Consumers can now shop online or drive to commercial hubs in larger neighboring communities, making it nearly impossible for Lost Nation to sustain establishments like grocery stores and retail shops.  Community leaders and property owners seek to revitalize the downtown of Lost Nation by developing and implement strategies that help make the district more appealing to new businesses.

Students engaged local stakeholders, identified key factors affecting decision making on location among entrepreneurs, analyzed best practices by similar communities nationwide, and conducted an analysis focusing on setting Lost Nation apart from competing communities.