Center Announces Grant to Repeat and Expand MarketPlace

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Kathie Starkweather,, Phone:(402)687-2103 ext. 1014 or Joy Marshall,, Phone:(402)614-5558
Lyons, NE –The Center for Rural Affairs was recently awarded $99,000 to expand their entrepreneurial conference MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success. The grant will allow the Center to pilot the conference in Colorado and to include curriculum for Latino entrepreneurs and Latino-owned business development in both Nebraska and Colorado.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded a national grant from USDA, Rural Development.  The work that MarketPlace has done in Nebraska is already making a difference. With this grant we will be able to expand into a new and emerging area and broaden it into another state,” commented Kathie Starkweather, Rural Policy Organizer with the Center for Rural Affairs.

Funding was provided through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), a program of USDA’s Rural Development mission area.  The Center for Rural Affairs also received a smaller RBEG grant to assist in hosting Marketplace in Kearney, Nebraska in February 2007.  The 2007 event was an enormous success with over 500 participants gathering to network and learn about entrepreneurial development in rural Nebraska.

The second annual MarketPlace rural entrepreneurship event will be held in the New World Inn in Columbus, Nebraska on February 27, 2008.

The conference will again offer training, networking, and professional development opportunities for startup and existing small businesses, service providers, rural communities, and family farmers and ranchers.

For more information contact: Kathie Starkweather,  or Joy Marshall, . Or visit, .


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