On Thursday, Nov. 19, we attended a workshop presented by UNI at the Northwest Iowa Community College Campus in Sheldon. The workshop was offered to government, economic development and citizens interested in helping entrepreneurs, a part of the business assistance program "myentre.net."
In previous reports we have addressed this free service that is available to all businesses. It only requires that you go online to the site and register. It is free, supportive and educational.
The workshop gave everyone the opportunity to learn techniques to assist entrepreneurs find the correct funding and the help they need from the business concept through to the actual business opening and beyond.
The most interesting fact that was given at the workshop is that by 2015 over 25% of all rural residents will be self-employed. 80% of our youth, those ages 18 to 34, state that they are interested in being self-employed. That tells us we need to be more prepared to help with many facets of self-employment.
What do entrepreneurs need? The answer is a supportive community culture where you are allowed to aspire to have your own business; a place where failure is considered a learning opportunity, not the end; physical and cultural resources. All of these factors will help to foster entrepreneurial development.
We need to have better systems to assist with:
#1) Business technical assistance and training
#2) Networks for like minded individuals to come together.
#3) Capital -- The right kind at the right time.
By preparing properly, our small towns in rural Iowa can cash in on the quality of life assets that will attract young people and entrepreneurs to start their businesses and raise their families.
If you or anyone you know is interested in starting your own business or you are interested in assisting new businesses to get started, please call Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation at 712-225-5739 or toll free at 1-800-325-5739, and we will be happy to set up a time to meet with you and begin the process.