DEXTER -- The Southeast Missouri Economic Development Alliance (SMEDA) will hold its 2007 Spring Conference on May 4 at the new National Guard Armory in Dexter. The theme of the Conference is "Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development: Growing Our Own Jobs."
Starting and running your own business is the Great American Dream for most people and the reality for many. There are over 25 million businesses in the United States and 99% are defined as small business by the US Small Business Administration. Starting a business is not only something most people want to do, it also accounts for 44 percent of all new jobs created in the U. S.
SMEDA Director, Buz Sutherland said, "Entrepreneurship is a primary economic development strategy, particularly in rural America. Nearly every community in the Bootheel has at least one example of a person who had a new idea for a product or service and successfully brought it to the marketplace. That translates into jobs, capital investment and tax base. All of which are the life blood of our communities."
The Conference begins at 9:15 a.m. with opening remarks and a panel of Stoddard County entrepreneurs talking about their successes and challenges as they grow their businesses. Next, one of the state's premier experts on entrepreneurship, Sharon Gulick with University of Missouri Extension-
Community Economic & Entrepreneurial Development, will present "How to Create a Community-based Entrepreneurial Environment." She is followed by "Economic Development SWOT Analysis and Strategies for the Bootheel" presented by a five member team of Master of Business Administration candidates and Dr. Jack Sterrett, Southeast Missouri State University.
The key note speaker is Sam Jones, Regional Administrator-US Small Business Administration. Mr. Jones was appointed to that post by President George W. Bush in 2001 and he has distinguished himself as a friend to small business in his region of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.