Lil’ Business Reaps Big Rewards from MarketPlace

Running a business is hard work and finding information on how to finance and professionally run a business can be even harder. Now there is a conference to assist those searching for that information - MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success.
Karen Runkle had worked as a substitute teacher, but wanted a career she could be excited about. She answered the call of entrepreneurship after an unsuccessful search for some fresh produce. What started out as a craving for a fresh tomato, ended up as Lil’ Ladybug Gardens & Greenhouse.

Karen knew there was a customer base for local produce and Community Supported Agriculture. All she needed was training and some money to invest in her idea.

Karen initially contacted the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), a microenterprise development program of the Center for Rural Affairs that works with startup and existing small businesses in Nebraska. She attended ‘Business Plan Basics’ training before she opened Lil’ Ladybug.

Then in February 2007 she attended the first MarketPlace Conference in Kearney. There Karen learned to keep good records for her business, networked with other entrepreneurs and service providers, and acquired new customers. “The MarketPlace seminar in Kearney was a great place to learn and rub elbows with other entrepreneurs,” says Karen.

Now with the tools she has acquired, her greenhouse is successful and since the initiation of her business in 2005, business has tripled.

Attend MarketPlace on February 27th, 2008 in Columbus, NE at the New World Inn. Register at www.cfra.org/marketplace/home .

Pictures of Karen Runkle and her business are available at: http://www.cfra.org/files/pictures/KarenRunkle1.jpg
http://www.cfra.org/files/pictures/KarenRunkle2.jpg

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