Learn About New Entrepreneur Initiative at Special MarkeTech Session


Learn About New Entrepreneur Initiative at Special MarkeTech Session

Anyone considering starting a new business in Nebraska should attend the “What Do You Need to Be Successful?” breakout session at the 2020 MarkeTech Conference in Kearney.

In this session, two long-time Nebraska Extension leaders will explain a new statewide resource for entrepreneurs.

Connie Hancock, consultant with Nebraska Extension, and Don Macke, Community Vitality Initiative Program Leader, will share information about the newly formed Nebraska Entrepreneurship Initiative.

The initiative is a partnership between the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) and Nebraska Extension. It is a statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports and builds businesses and communities for the long-term economic growth of Nebraska.

Hancock said the initiative has two strategies:

  1. Develop a Statewide Network to create, implement and sustain a statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure that allows for ready and easy access to business development resources.
  2. Create an Entrepreneurial Communities program to increase the capacity of local communities to focus entrepreneurial assets and resources that support entrepreneurial starts and growth.

The initiative began in 2018 and was piloted in 2019.

One of the tools of the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Initiative is Nebraska SourceLink®, a one-stop place for entrepreneurs, small business owners, communities and service providers to go for help starting and growing a business in Nebraska.

“This entrepreneurial environment mixes technology, community engagement and impact measurement that connects Nebraska entrepreneurs by linking a vast network of nonprofit resource organizations to one another and to established, emerging and start-up small businesses,” Hancock said.

Nebraska SourceLink® includes an interactive map to find the nearest experts based on need, a people-powered call center, current blog postings and a calendar for regional and state events.

The new entrepreneurial infrastructure helps: 

  • Spark entrepreneurship and innovation, 
  • Connect entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time, 
  • Identify gaps and build collaborations to fill them, 
  • Measure the impact of our entrepreneurial system and tell the story of Nebraska entrepreneurship and innovation.

SoucreLink® includes a Resource Navigator, which allows entrepreneurs and small business owners to search the network for resources that fit their industry, business stage and challenge. Back-end administration allows for fast updates and complex reports to help inform entrepreneur usage by zip code, industry, business stage, assistance requested and much more.

Hancock said entrepreneurs, anyone thinking about starting a business, new business owners and community leaders are encouraged to attend this MarkeTech presentation to learn more.

“We hope that the participants will become aware of the rich entrepreneurial resources available to them and how easy it is to find the appropriate resource to help them be successful,” Hancock said.  “We also want them to realize the importance of community support and having an entrepreneurial ecosystem to help them be successful.”

Early bird registration for the conference ends on March 20. The price is $99 for a half day and $199 for the entire day for non-GROW members and $59 for GROW Nebraska members. The registration fee includes breakfast and lunch and full conference registration including three breakout sessions, the keynote speaker, conference swag and the VIP After Party at McCue’s Nebraska Taproom in Kearney. To register, visit marketechconference.com/registration.

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.

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