News From The MOSourceLink Network: Our Day in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Each quarter, we head into Missouri’s entrepreneurial communities to ask our Resource Partners about what they need to help the state’s entrepreneurs. These folks are on the ground and in every community across the state, helping aspiring business owners get started and helping established ones grow, increase revenues and create jobs.
That’s a key part of what we do here at MOSourceLink: build bridges between our service organizations and business owners—because we know entrepreneurs and the businesses they create are better and stronger when they are connected. We do that best when we hit the ground running and go into our communities to meet with the very people we connect and serve.
This is why we hold quarterly Resource Partner meetings in different locations throughout the state. Through activity, discussion and interactive support, we conduct mini think tanks that let us to tackle issues we’re facing and more importantly, figure out how to build collaborations to repair them. Each Resource Partner meeting gives us a chance to learn how we’re serving Missouri’s entrepreneurs and to make connections that can fill gaps and advance entrepreneurship locally and statewide.
We also use our meetings to check in with our Resource Partners about their recent wins and new offerings they may have for Missouri’s entrepreneurs. Here’s what’s happening in the MOSourceLink network.
Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) provides capital for projects related to value-added agriculture. Jill Wood and the rest of staff at MASBDA are always touring the state to talk with community leaders and entrepreneurs about how to fund their economic development projects and ag-related businesses through MASBDA programs. Talk to Jill and MASBDA for more on what is “value added agriculture” and how you can get some of that money!
Justine PETERSEN wants to assist fellow Resource Partners in incorporating education and training around credit-building issues for early-stage entrepreneurs. This will help to decrease a common barrier to capital that many entrepreneurs face.
ITEN is increasing its focus on helping entrepreneurs with proof-of-concept training to create a stronger pool of candidate companies for St. Louis University’s (SLU) I-Corps training program, which will further assist these companies to successfully apply for federal STTR grants.
Missouri Intern Connect launched earlier this year and is working to recruit more businesses to post internship opportunities on the centralized platform to make it easier for students to find. The program is also working toward expanding the platform to include registered apprenticeship opportunities with hopes of launching in November. Also currently being explored: a way to serve small businesses and entrepreneurs that could benefit from “micro-internship” opportunities.
Perry County Economic Development Authority is opening a shared workspace and resource center with space for education and training events in Perryville, Mo. Look for that to open in early 2020. In the meantime, Executive Director Scott Sattler is touring Missouri to check out similar spaces in similar markets around the state to pick up on best practices on further incorporating entrepreneurship support into its economic development strategy.
Small Business Administration (SBA) St. Louis District Office is helping to facilitate a number of events in coordination with the Census Bureau to educate entrepreneurs and economic developers on how access and utilize Census data to find valuable information on the markets and customers they serve. Workshops are already scheduled in Rolla, Cape Girardeau and St. Louis.
Missouri Job Center(s) not only provides job and skills training services but also help to connect individuals to opportunities in entrepreneurship and business ownership. Make sure to reach out if you are in need as an entrepreneur.
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