BC Clark joins GROW Nebraska board as newest advisor

BC Clark joins GROW Nebraska board as newest advisor

BC Clark joins GROW Nebraska board as newest advisor

The GROW Nebraska Board of Directors is excited to welcome BC Clark, a longtime champion for small businesses in Nebraska, as its newest advisor. 

Clark joined the GROW Nebraska team earlier this year, stepping in as the Program Director for the new GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center. However, her history of helping small businesses long predates this role. 

“BC is well-known in Omaha, and we’re thrilled to bring on this local celebrity as an advisor to our board,” said Janell Anderson Ehrke, GROW Nebraska CEO. “She has a wealth of knowledge that will help guide the board, bring in new ideas, and ultimately help GROW become an even better organization.”

Currently the Director of Training and Client Development for the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Clark has been sharing her business expertise for almost two decades. 

Most notably, Clark’s contributions include founding the Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center in 2008 and co-founding Leading Edge Consulting in 2003, where she also served as the Chief Executive Officer. 

She is also an active member of the Nebraska Business Development Center Advisory Board, a Nationally Certified SCORE Business Mentor, and certified by Credit Builders Alliance as a Master Trainer in building credit as an asset.

“It’s the combination of passion and expertise that make BC such a perfect fit for this role,” Anderson Ehrke said. “We can’t wait to see what great things come from adding her to the team.”

Women entrepreneurs learn and network at GNWBC Sip & Learn events

Women entrepreneurs learn and network at GNWBC Sip & Learn events

Women entrepreneurs learn and network at GNWBC Sip & Learn events

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As an organization, GROW Nebraska strives to be a useful business resource to the entrepreneurs in our state, and the Nebraska Women’s Business Center’s Sip & Learn events have been a fun, accessible addition to these efforts. 

The GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center (GNWBC) was founded in early 2021, when the U.S. Small Business Administration provided grant funding for the launch of 20 new Women’s Business Centers across the nation. The program was designed to serve rural, urban, and underserved communities. 

The GNWBC has partnered with the Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center (MOWBC) to come up with fresh, helpful events and resources for women entrepreneurs in the Omaha area. According to the organization’s website, the “Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center endeavors to accelerate the success of women in all aspects and at all business and professional levels.” Together, the groups are presenting Sip & Learn events for people in this demographic.

BC Clark, founder of the MOWBC and Program Director of the GNWBC, has been involved with this effort from the start. When asked where the idea came from, she said, “We were looking for signature events for the partnership. You hear about things like ‘Paint & Sip,’ so we thought, ‘Sip & Learn.’ It’s an opportunity to network and get education.” 

With businesses and operations opening up earlier this summer, the partners thought that some in-person networking opportunities would be good for the community. “We’ve been shut in for so long, it’s all about getting the work out for your business. You have to carve your own space out.”

Their last event brought in about 40 attendees. Clark said that while education is an important part of the Sip & Learn events, it’s really about the networking.

“Having some food and beverage while getting and sharing information with other business owners, that’s priceless networking.” 

The Sip & Learn events are held monthly, and feature different speakers for each meeting. These meetings cover topics like financials for women, networking, and investment. The partnership between the two organizations combines the resources, networks, and expertise of a large pool of experts, and will provide a valuable service to the woman entrepreneurs in the Omaha area and beyond. 

On the topic of the partnership, Clark said that, “Collaboration with these two organizations is really going to be able to bring the resources to women business owners, those who want to start a business, or just need a resource as ladies trying to find their way. We are bringing a greater service to a greater number of women. Working with GROW Nebraska is really allowing us to reach more people.” 

GROW NEBRASKA is excited to watch this partnership grow, and to share more about the good work these two organizations are doing for Nebraska’s women-led entrepreneurship community! For more information about the Sip & Learn events, please contact Candice Price at candice@grownebraskawbc.org.

Story by Lauren Bonk, owner of the Curtain and Pen Copywriting Services, a GROW Nebraska member. Lauren hails from Kearney, NE, where she works as a freelance copywriter for small businesses, startups, and even larger corporate entities in need of professionally-written marketing content for their businesses and organizations. 

The Nebraska Enterprise Fund is Bringing a Bus of Businesses to MarkeTech!

The Nebraska Enterprise Fund is Bringing a Bus of Businesses to MarkeTech!

The Nebraska Enterprise Fund is Bringing a Bus of Businesses to MarkeTech!

Jim Reiff, Executive Director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, said sponsoring MarkeTech allows his organization to be part of bringing a high-quality training opportunity to central Nebraska.

This year they have decided to bring a bus of attendees to help with the cost of travel for Omaha based businesses! The cost to ride on NEF’s bus AND attend MarkeTech is only $79! 

“Market Tech brings in cutting-edge speakers that can pass their knowledge onto attendees,” Reiff said. “The location adds value and brings in a new population that typically doesn’t have access to these types of trainings.”

The Nebraska Enterprise Fund is a private, non-profit organization that was formed in 1994 to support small and micro-business development. Microbusinesses include self-employed, start-up, home-based or other small businesses with ten or fewer employees.

Reiff said NEF has three main services: providing loans and capital to small businesses who may not yet qualify for a full bank loan, training (annually, NEF trains more than 1,300 business owners or potential business owners on everything from Quick Books to sales acceleration), and one-on-one coaching (2,500 sessions per year).

MarkeTech is an opportunity for NEF to reach potential clients, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to learn.

“We believe in making training accessible to our small businesses across the state, and MarkeTech is a great way for people to receive training and coaching that is highly informative and dynamic,” Reiff said. “People leave the conference with something they can take home to their business and apply immediately, especially for the small business owners who can’t afford hundreds of dollars for trainings.”

Reiff said he and his staff are always impressed with what they learn at MarkeTech.

“We enjoy seeing what’s possible and seeing the new ideas,” Reiff said. “The keynote speakers are almost always at the top of their game and can bring a perspective that you don’t always get unless you come to MarkeTech. We are just proud to be part of the MarkeTech experience.”

Reiff said the conference is so valuable that NEF is organizing a bus trip to bring small business owners from Omaha and Lincoln to Kearney for the conference.

“The bus holds 40, and we are hoping to pack the bus,” Reiff said. “This is a chance for small business owners to see something new and different. If we can get 30-40 on a bus, that’s cheaper than driving 30 cars out to Kearney.”

For more information about riding with NEF to MarkeTech, please contact BC Clark at bcc@nebbiz.org or call 402.685.5500 x201.

There is still time to help Nebraska business owners GROW by becoming a sponsor for the 2020 MarkeTech Conference. For more information, visit https://marketechconference.com/sponsor/

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 two breakout sessions, the keynote speaker, chances to network, conference swag and the VIP After Party at McCue’s Nebraska Taproom in Kearney. To register, visit marketechconference.com/registration