Let’s Grow Our Own –
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City recently hosted a “Grow Your Own” conference in Kearney, NE on the topic of focusing economic development resources on the growth of existing and small businesses. NEF staff, Rose Jaspersen and Glennis McClure, joined bankers, economic development staff, chamber of commerce directors, state agency and federal agency staff participated in discussions with regards to how Nebraska can put a greater focus on growing these businesses. Several speakers noted the importance of fostering and supporting good leadership in communities if there is to be long-term growth and prosperity. The need was voiced to not only involve young adults but create a willingness on the part of the community and state to consider/ financially support new approaches.
Jason Henderson, Kansas City Federal Reserve Vice President and Executive Branch Manager at the Omaha Branch, kicked off the conference with his research and presentation on “Creating the Entrepreneurship Infrastructure”. His remarks included, that the benefits of an entrepreneurial culture in communities grow over time and the benefits flow across space or spill into neighboring communities. Key points that he concluded with are: Entrepreneurs matter because they reallocate resources to their highest and best use. And from his research, Henderson encourages communities and regions to build entrepreneurship infrastructure systems that
Enhance the skills of the entrepreneurs,
Provide systematic, segmented services,
Weave entrepreneurship into a broader economic development plan.
NEF Program Manager, Glennis McClure, presented information about collaborative gap financing. She shared information on how business development programs like NEF and its program partners work with banks across Nebraska to provide training, technical assistance and loan capital to businesses. She partnered with Kyle Arganbright of Sandhills State Bank on the presentation titled “Entrepreneurship-Based Development Capital Sources”. Arganbright noted that banks should familiarize themselves with alternative forms of financing and be leaders in helping to cultivate an entrepreneurship environment in their communities.
More information and presentations from the conference are posted on the conference website: http://www.kansascityfed.org/community/conferences/gyo/agenda.cfm