The Center for Rural Affairs will hold the seventh annual MarketPlace rural entrepreneurship conference will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at the Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Nebraska.
"Entrepreneurship and small businesses are the economic backbone of Nebraska's rural economy. They are especially important during times of economic hardship," says Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs and the conference's opening keynote. "MarketPlace is focused on creating jobs and building the rural economy. Anyone who wants to create their own opportunities and shape their own destiny through entrepreneurship should attend."
According to Hassebrook, the conference offers a space to share ideas and learn from other attendees. It features hands-on learning opportunities for potential and existing farm, ranch, home-based and main street business owners as well as community leaders and young people interested in entrepreneurship.
"Entrepreneurs who attend MarketPlace tell us it makes a difference. Over half of small business participants have started, expanded, or made changes to their business because of the conference. And nearly 88% of small businesses who made changes or expanded their business as a result of MarketPlace sought financing to do so," explains Hassebrook. "They borrowed money from banks and USDA Rural Development. They also turned to personal resources like savings and credit cards as the most common source of capital. Over three-fourths of attendees (79%) found new resources for their business because of participation and networking at MarketPlace."
Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, a leadership, innovation coach, educator and author, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. She will talk about "Creative Confidence: Leading Yourself & Your Business."
She says, "Why invest in your self-confidence? Innovation always begins with people, and businesses of all shapes and sizes must innovate to survive and thrive. Self-confident individuals filled with passion and purpose are the most creative and innovative people.
She currently serves as Unit Leader at the University of Nebraska Lincoln Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City. She is also founder of the coaching and consulting firm, Wild Innovation. She is a native of West Point and now lives with her husband, and two children in Beaver Lake.
Businesses and organizations have a chance to tap into many marketing opportunities by having an exhibit booth, selling their products on-site in the MarketPlace Store, or through sponsoring MarketPlace. The diverse sponsorship levels, and the MarketPlace Store and expositions, offer opportunities for organizations and businesses to choose the investment and participation level which best fits their marketing goals. Those interested in sponsorship or exhibitor information should contact Kim Preston, [email protected] or 402-687-2103 ext. 1008.
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