Small Business News

StartUp Jefferson City offers support to local entrepreneurs
Published: Wednesday, June 10, 2015
By: Shaun Sappenfield

What is an entrepreneur?   Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.”  This explanation seems simple enough, but outside of this definition there is a tremendous amount of planning that must transpire before an entrepreneur can risk loss before starting a business.  

Minimizing risk for entrepreneurs by connecting them with professional advisors was the goal of a recent Encouraging Entrepreneurship Event organized by members of StartUp Jefferson City and the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Based on strong participation during last year’s Encouraging Entrepreneurship Event, StartUp Jefferson City representatives wanted to offer local entrepreneurs another opportunity to connect with local business professionals.  Gary Wilbers with Ascend Business Strategies kicked off the event by encouraging participants to follow their dreams and to be prepared for the many challenges that face small business owners today.  Mr. Wilbers offered examples based on his own experiences as a small business owner and encouraged participants to be vigilant during their journey toward business ownership. 

The second stage of the event offered participants an opportunity to directly connect with business professionals in seven distinct areas of business.  “For new startups, acquiring the proper guidance can be a difficult task and we’re trying to minimize those hurdles,” said Donna Deetz, StartUp Jefferson City Chairman.  “Based on feedback from participants, our committee members were pleased with the amount of information shared in a short amount of time.”  In total, seventeen would-be entrepreneurs attended the Encouraging Entrepreneurship event at the Capital Event Center and each participant was offered continuing business guidance via the StartUp Jefferson City Committee and their partnering resources. 

The event focused on the following areas of interest – Legal, Accounting, Human Resource, Marketing, Permits, Planning and Finance/Building Lease. 

Special thanks to the following business professionals who volunteered their time and talents to make this event a great success:

  • Gary Wilbers, Ascend Business Strategies
  • John Landwehr, Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff, & Landwehr, PC
  • Judy Brenneke, CPA, VP of Bert Doerhoff, CPA, PC
  • Tammy Chute, Vice President of Human Resources at Scholastic, Inc.
  • Lois Heldenbrand, Ph. D, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Lincoln University
  • Eric Barron, Development Services Manager, City of Jefferson
  • Chris Thompson, Business Development Specialist for the University of MO – Cole County Extension Office
  • Leslie Tanner, Vice President of Central Bank

For more information about the Chamber’s BEST (Business & Entrepreneur Support Team) or StartUp Jefferson City, contact Shaun Sappenfield, Existing Business Manager, at the Chamber.

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