On December 13, 2012, the Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF) hosted fifteen guests representing six program partner organizations and the Nebraska Business Development Center for a program training event at Mahoney State Park near Ashland. A variety of topics were presented with vibrant discussion and input sought. The purpose of the training event was to network with other micro / small business development organizations, learn from each other, increase knowledge about services and other topics that can help strengthen program capacity and the ability to better serve businesses across Nebraska.
Dena Beck of REAP presented information about the results of the Center for Rural Affairs 2012 Business Needs Survey. Programs across the state are interested in the survey and its results and provide valuable feedback and assistance in disseminating the survey to business contacts across the state. Click here for the Center’s small business survey report.
Alysse Kerr of the Oregon Microenterprise Network (OMEN) teleconferenced in to present information on their MarketLink program. OMEN is their State Microenterprise Association. OMEN provides MarketLink as a service to its member organizations to help them better serve their microenterprise clients.
Marisol Rodriquex and Veronica Doga of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) provided information on their areas of expertise within NBDC based at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Marisol provided an overview of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) assistance that she can provide small businesses. Veronica reviewed her work in helping businesses interested in exporting their goods. She noted that 96 % of the world’s consumers live outside the US and represent 2/3 of the world’s purchasing power, therefore in many cases it is truly a positive for US businesses if they can export. Both presentations were very informative with training attendees thinking immediately of businesses that could use this assistance.
NEF provided a summary of loan and participant data gathered for fiscal year 2012. FY’12 was a record year for loans provided to micro /small businesses across the State by NEF program partners. 177 loans were completed for just over $3.2M, leveraging $8M of loan capital from other sources. Programs reported working with 2,306 participants in training programs, with technical assistance and/or loans. To end the training NEF asked programs to complete a brief survey so we could learn about program training needs and their interest in working together on other topics in the coming year.