Economic Development News

Encouraging entrepreneurship for our future
Published: Friday, May 30, 2014
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 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.

The free event began with opening motivational remarks from Gary Wilbers. Ascend Business Strategies.  Mr. Wilbers offered advice based on his early experiences in business. He encouraged participants to pursue their business dreams while understanding there would be many challenges to overcome, and stated that determination and conviction are critical components along this journey.

The second portion of the event offered entrepreneurs an opportunity to directly connect with business professionals in seven distinct areas of business.  “The idea was simple - allow would-be entrepreneurs an opportunity to pose their startup questions to specialized business professionals,” said Leslie Tanner, StartUp Jefferson City Chairman.  “For new startups, acquiring the proper guidance can be a difficult task and we’re trying to minimize those hurdles.”  The event focused on the following areas of interest – Legal, Accounting, Human Resource, Marketing, Permits, Planning and Real Estate. 

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
  • Stacy Stegeman, AAQ Drug Screening/Human Resource Consultant
  • Lois Heldenbrand, Ph. D, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Lincoln University
  • Janice McMillan, Director of Planning & Protective Services Department, City of Jefferson
  • Chris Thompson, Business Development Specialist for the University of MO – Cole County Extension Office
  • Greg Bowman, Bowman Commercial Realty
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