Center Receives Grant to Support Rural Entrepreneurs

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Joy Marshall,, Center for Rural Affairs, Phone: (402) 614-5558 Rose Jaspersen,, Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Phone: (402) 685-5500
LYONS, NE - The Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF) recently awarded the Center for Rural Affairs with a grant to help support MarketPlace, a premier rural small business and entrepreneurship event now in its third year. The funding received by the Center for Rural Affairs from Nebraska Enterprise Fund is used primarily for the Center's Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), a rural entrepreneurial and small business development program.
"NEF envisions a Nebraska where every micro and small business owner has the opportunity and resources to realize his or her potential as a business owner," said Rose Jaspersen, Executive Director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund. "Marketplace is an excellent resource for business owners and community leaders. The conference provides the latest information about business management and community-based programs for businesses."

The third annual MarketPlace will be held at the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte, Nebraska on February 25, 2009. The conference will offer training, networking, and professional development opportunities for startup and existing small businesses, service providers, rural communities, and family farmers and ranchers. Early bird registration ends on Feb. 11, 2009.

Three pre-conference sessions are also being offered this year on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 24 at Mid-Plains Community College. These focus on marketing, media, and promotion; think tanks and incubators for a community; and risk management.

"We are so appreciative of the partnership with the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, said Kathie Starkweather, Center for Rural Affairs. "The work they do and the goals they strive to achieve are in line with goals set out to for the MarketPlace."

Entrepreneurs may also want to display their products in the Nebraska MarketPlace Store ( The store is a cooperative effort between the Center for Rural Affairs' MarketPlace and GROW Nebraska, which will provide vendors with retail space, staffing and pay sales tax. Store participants are encouraged to register so they can take advantage of the day's sessions and network with other professionals. The store registration deadline is February 1.

For more information on MarketPlace or to register: . Or contact Joy Marshall,, (402) 614- 5558.

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