6/19/08

Colorado Rural Development Council Hosting Entrepreneurship Event

Contact: Julie Worley, jworley ci.rocky-ford.co.us, Phone: (719) 254-7414
Michelle Alcott, malcott@ruralcolorado.org, Phone: (303) 934-9117
John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010


La Junta – The Colorado Rural Development Council (CRDC) is collaborating with the Center for Rural Affairs to host the first ever "Colorado Entrepreneurship MarketPlace". This exciting event will be held on October 10, 2008 on the campus of Otero Junior College in La Junta Colorado. MarketPlace will stimulate small business development and rural community growth throughout rural Colorado.

"I have long been convinced that the most significant way that CRDC can help to create jobs and improve the economic viability and prosperity for rural Colorado is through entrepreneurial development. The Colorado Entrepreneurship MarketPlace is the right tool and at the right time," commented Clarke Becker, President/CEO of Colorado Rural Development Council.

According to Becker, small business development drives job growth and economic development in rural areas. The MarketPlace event will offer training, networking, and professional development opportunities for startup and existing small businesses, service providers, rural communities, and family farmers and ranchers.

High-profile entrepreneurs who started small and have successfully grown their businesses will be featured keynote speakers.

Colorado Entrepreneurship MarketPlace is modeled after two similar events held annually; North Dakota's "MarketPlace for Entrepreneurs" and Nebraska's "MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success".

MarketPlace will feature up to 40 booths 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.

Professional development will be enhanced through a series of teaching tracks – 35 training opportunities including topics on financing, marketing, community capacity, agriculture, business development, technology and policy/trends. Experts in many fields – attorneys, CPA's, web designers, etc. – will be available throughout the day to answer participant questions.

Building a strong rural America requires more than a strong business sector, that's why MarketPlace will also focus on Entrepreneurial Communities – what they are, why they are important, and how to become one. Being an entrepreneurial community is an important component in successful small business development, yet the capacity to be successful is often lacking.

Agriculture is another critical component for rural health and vitality. Ag entrepreneurship is on the rise, and examined will be some of the best opportunities for family farms and ranches to be profitable.

Vendors will have a unique opportunity to showcase their products at the Marketplace store "Colorado Corners". The store is designed to be a showcase of Colorado products from all over the state.

Exhibiting at the MarketPlace is an excellent decision to reach a professional audience seeking opportunities to grow their businesses. The exhibit hall at the Marketplace will be filled with vendors and entrepreneurs. Booths are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Exhibit space is limited; therefore, early reservation is important.

For further information on available booth space and rental fees or submitting your product to be sold in the Marketplace store, contact: Julie Worley, Event Coordinator, jworley@ci.rocky-ford.co.us, (719) 254-7414. Or visit, www.ruralcolorado.org

You can find more information on La Junta, including area accommodations and maps, by contacting the La Junta Chamber of Commerce at 719-384-7411.

CRDC is a private, nonprofit organization committed to influencing positive economic change in rural Colorado. For more information, please visit the CRDC website Colorado Rural Development Council.
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Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.