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Entrepreneurism In Southwestern Illinois

Columbia focused on helping entrepreneurs make the connections and bridge the gaps

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Since 2014, the city of Columbia has focused a bigger part of its economic development efforts to help startup businesses and emerging businesses identify and secure financing, advice and encouragement in addition to other expertise that’s available.     Columbia’s Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) acts as a concierge for entrepreneurs,…

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St. Louis Regional Chamber transforming region via entrepreneurism

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The year 2015 was a banner one for entrepreneurism across metro St. Louis, said Jason Hall, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at the St. Louis Regional Chamber.     It was a strong year for both capital formation and deployment; great things happened in mentoring and fostering entrepreneurial growth; and St.…

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Small Business Development Center sees renewed entrepreneurial spirit

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Judging from the phone traffic this year, past efforts to build an entrepreneurial spirit in Southwestern Illinois are paying off, says Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center.    “I think the things we’ve done with the Metro East Start-Up Challenge and what we’re doing with our…

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SIUE School of Business helps budding entrepreneurs find success

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The interest in promoting and fostering entrepreneurship has also found a home in higher education. The SIUE School of Business uses everything from a specialized curriculum to business plan competitions to help educate entrepreneurs of the future.    “Entrepreneurship has really grown,” said business school dean John Navin. “Ten years ago it…

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