This paper presents the results of a case study of local economic development in Dolina Strugu, Podkarpackie voivodship, Poland. Its aim is to analyse local development problems and chances, to investigate the potential of endogenous initiatives to support economic development, and to examine the prospects for an implementation of the EU’s initiative Leader+. The case study primarily relies on interviews conducted with local government authorities, NGOs, business owners and farmers in summer 2005. The hitherto unsatisfactory income situation in agriculture has been particularly precarious for the region because two thirds of the people in working age are employed in agriculture and alternative job opportunities are mostly absent. To respond to these problems, a number of development activities have been initiated by a local non-profit organisation called "Dolina Strugu". The initiative with the biggest influence on the regional income situation is the marketing cooperative "Chmielnik Zdrój", which is currently employing 400 local people. It buys products from local peasant farms, processes them and sells them to 70 000 households in the further ambit. "Dolina Strugu" and the local authorities successfully applied for the pilot measure to implement Leader+ within the scope of the Polish Sectoral Operational Plan. The need for a local development strategy and Leader’s inherent incentives to improve and create income sources make its implementation a desirable objective. But there are also a number of barriers to successful implementation. Local knowledge of the community initiative should be improved, the local inhabitants’ short term planning perspective must be addressed by an appropriate vision, local trust in EU institutions and programmes should be strengthened, and the cooperation between the non-profit organisation "Dolina Strugu" and the representatives of local government should be stabilised.