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Efficiency Counts Joins MarketPlace Line-up

Our friends over at the Center for Rural Affairs have asked that we keep you all updated on MarketPlace. Coming up in February, many opportunities exist for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Check up what’s on tap below – Caleb

Lyons, NE – The Center for Rural Affairs will partner with Efficiency Counts, University of Nebraska College of Business and Technology, University of Nebraska Center for Rural Innovation and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to host the sixth annual MarketPlace rural entrepreneurship conference, which will focus on building jobs and the rural economy from within. It will be held at the at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Kearney, Nebraska on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Early bird registration has been extended until midnight January 30, so those interested should not hesitate.

“I have greatly benefited from participating in MarketPlace the last 5 years and am really looking forward to MarketPlace Nebraska 2012,” stated Connie Harvey of Hastings, NE. “My business, “Efficiency Counts” has been strengthened and is developing better than I had imagined, much of which is due to the training and connections I have made at MarketPlace.

I like the quote from Aristotle, ‘Cities are a partnership in living well together.’  MarketPlace is a great way for small businesses all over Nebraska to learn and also find other business with which they can partner together, either in sharing work or providing services to each other.  That’s how a community grows.  And in today’s economy, a broader base of community can be developed and enjoyed.”

MarketPlace is an event focused on the role of entrepreneurship in revitalizing rural communities. The conference features strong, hands-on learning opportunities for potential and existing business owners including on and off farm/ranch, store front or home based, community leaders; and youth interested in entrepreneurship. Professional development will be enhanced through a series of teaching tracks – including Social Media, Innovation, Marketing, Business Development, Financial & Round Tables.

MarketPlace will feature 52 booths in the Resource Zone filled with successful small business men and women, service providers, and other conference sponsors. Attendees will be able to meet with these folks throughout the day to ask questions, gather information, and make connections.

Back by popular demand is RZ Bounce, an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get 15 minutes with business and marketing experts.  They will be able to describe their business and explain what their challenges are and the experts will offer suggestions and resources to consider. Space is limited to the first 12 businesses. Registration is separate from the MarketPlace Conference. To register visit: http://files.cfra.org/pdf/rz-bounce-registration.pdf

Two new youth activities are being planned. The BIZ IDEA Summit will be held on Tuesday, February 21 for 10th -12th graders in Kearney at the Ramada Inn from 9:30 am – 2:15 pm. In conjunction with the summit, a Youth Business Showcase Video Competition will be held for middle school through high school-aged led businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase their business ventures. To learn more about the activities or to register visit: http://www.cfra.org/marketplace/idea

“MarketPlace is the place to be if you are an entrepreneur interested in starting or expanding a small business or growing your idea,” commented Shawnna Silvius of the Center for Rural Affairs. “The connections and resources this event offers are invaluable.  And we want to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors we have on board – without them, we would not be able to put on this great event.”

According to Silvius, sponsors of MarketPlace come from a variety of sectors, but their impact on the economic growth of rural Nebraska is something they all have in common.  Sponsors include: Efficiency Counts, University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Business & Technology, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, University of Nebraska Center for Applied Rural Innovation, Nebraska Business Development Center, and many more. For a full list of all of those who are supporting MarketPlace, visit: http://www.cfra.org/marketplace/sponsors-ne12

“The University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Business and Technology (UNK CBT) and its Center for Rural Research and Development (CRRD) are pleased to offer our continued support for Nebraska MarketPlace,” said Shawn Kaskie at UNK. “The partnership between the University and MarketPlace will continue to prove to be a very valuable one as our students are introduced into the workforce. The University’s CRRD is our campus’ Entrepreneurship Center and Nebraska MarketPlace is a great environment to get our students connected with small business service providers and other small business owners; thus building the very important relationships that will be necessary for their success after their time at UNK CBT.”

According to Kaskie, the trainings offered at MarketPlace are integral to successful and sustainable small business development; networking with other small business owners as well as resource providers will provide a foundation for growth and longevity. “In the current economy, an event such as this is particularly needed. More people are starting small businesses but they need to have the right tools that MarketPlace provides in order to ensure their ventures are successful and to help to build our rural economy. It is a program that will always fill a need in Nebraska.”

Businesses and organizations have a chance to tap into many outstanding marketing opportunities by having an exhibit booth or through a sponsorship to MarketPlace. The diverse sponsorship levels offer opportunities for organizations and businesses to choose the level which best fits their marketing budget. Those interested in sponsorship information should contact Shawnna Silvius, shawnnas@cfra.org or 402-873-4027.

“DED has always enjoyed participating in and celebrating strong partnerships with organizations and companies statewide, and the Marketplace Entrepreneurship Conference is no exception,” said Gary Hamer, DED Deputy Director. “We’ve found that these collaborations offer concentrated learning opportunities and information for participants.”

For more on MarketPlace or to register visit: http://www.cfra.org/marketplace/ne-12

“We look forward to an outstanding event and appreciate the participation of all of our MarketPlace sponsors,” added Silvius.

Visit us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaMarketPlace#!/NebraskaMarketPlace

The Center for Rural Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.

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