JUNE 12, 2012
Creating an ecosystem of support for new and existing local businesses is a central element of this success strategy.
TENTATIVE AGENDA October 9, 2012
8 am – 12 pm A Morning with Policymakers*
*Entrepreneurs are invited to join Policymakers for a working panel at lunch at the 1899 Bar & Grill on their own account.
2 pm – 2:45 pm Entrepreneurial Workshops
SESSION 1 – “Meet the Lender Panel”, “Alternative Financing”, “Internet & Social Media, Not a Choice”, “Business Plans – Do you Need One?” 2:45 pm – 3 pm Questions & Answers
3 pm – 3:45 pm Entrepreneurial Workshops
SESSION 2 – “Got a Business? What Structure is Right for You?”, “Trademark, Patent, & Copyright”, “SEO?YouTube/Facebook – What does it all Mean?”, “Where do I Vet my Idea”
3:45 pm – 4 pm Questions & Answers
4 pm – 4:30 pm Presentation by Burt Chojnowski
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Networking event & Closing of the Event
A confluence of factors makes it critically important for local communities to take greater responsibility for their own job creation and sustainable economic development. These factors include: historically high and long-lasting levels of unemployment and underemployment; the inability of federal and state governments to provide adequate job creation stimuli and support; the resulting decline in the resilience of rural communities from the outflow of young people looking for jobs, as well as from globalization, and the commoditization of rural economies; increasing competition for critical natural resources such as water, energy, clean air, and food; and the destruction of life support systems through pollution, climate changes, and the loss of biodiversity.
In response to these factors, many rural communities are developing effective strategies to increase local jobs and community resilience. One of the most effective of these strategies is to stimulate and support job creation and economic development through local entrepreneurial ventures. However, between 50-90% of new businesses fail within their first 5 years, depending on the region and the business sector. Rural communities are learning how to improve the likelihood of new and local business success. Creating an ecosystem of support for new and existing local businesses is a central element of this success strategy. Such an entrepreneurial ecosystem includes buy local campaigns; a collaborative procurement program among major local institutions, businesses and government bodies; access to a full hierarchy of business financing; formal educational programs; informal mentoring systems; recognition and awards programs; marketing and branding the local community as supportive of entrepreneurs; workforce development; regulatory support; and the creation of a community-wide “culture of entrepreneurship” in which success is respected, failure is seen as a valuable learning experience, and the transition from entrepreneurial success to community philanthropy is the norm.