Rural Entrepreneur Summit Set For Ames

Rural Entrepreneur Summit Set For Ames

USDA Rural Development is participating in workshop at ISU for young, rural entrepreneurs on November 9. Summit will connect these folks and discuss ways to improve entrepreneurial environment in rural America.

Doug O'Brien, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development in Washington D.C., and Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development's state director in Iowa, will be in Ames at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9 to participate in a workshop aimed to improve opportunities for young and/or emerging entrepreneurs in rural Iowa.

The Rural Young Entrepreneur Summit (YES) is free for young and/or emerging rural entrepreneurs.  For more information call USDA Rural Development at (515) 284-4663. Online registration is available at

The workshop and trade show featuring Iowa-grown foods, will take place on the 3rd floor of the Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, Iowa State University and will go from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Helping young rural entrepreneurs meet, and share ideas to improve

Event participants will hear success stories from other rural entrepreneurs, share ideas for improving entrepreneurial development opportunities in rural America and connect with other rural entrepreneurs and support networks. Participants will be challenged to identify ways to improve the entrepreneurial culture and environment in rural America.

There are approximately 232,000 micro-enterprises in Iowa. These small businesses have less than five employees, but make up more than 86% of all the state's businesses. Most of these small businesses are self-employed business people and home-based business ventures.

"Entrepreneurs and small business owners make significant contributions to the state's economy bringing innovative products and services to the marketplace," says Menner. "They are an important source of employment and opportunity throughout the state."

Entrepreneurs, small businesses make big contribution to Iowa economy

Since 2010 USDA Rural Development has helped a record number of Iowans receive funding for economic development projects and quality-of-life improvements. The agency's investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 2,200 jobs, aided 2,500 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 250 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure. 

What: Rural Young Entrepreneur Summit

When: Wednesday, November 9th from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Where:  3rd floor Scheman Building – Iowa State Center – Ames

Contact Information: Doug O'Brien and Bill Menner will be available for comments at the event. If you would like to speak with them before or after the event, please contact Darin Leach at (515) 284-4747.

For more information about finance programs through USDA Rural Development, call (515) 284-4663. USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across Iowa to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities. Locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency's web site at USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of grant and direct and guaranteed loan programs for single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs.
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