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Nov. 30, 2016 - entrepreneur@work Digest  
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MarketplaceWisconsin Marketplace, Dec. 13-14 in Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is hosting the 35th annual statewide conference for minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses Dec. 13-14 at Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee. The conference is expected to draw more than 700 attendees and is sponsored by corporations, small businesses and organizations.

Marketplace is the premier annual statewide business capacity building conference for minority, woman and veteran business owners looking to do business with state, federal and local governments as well as corporations. The conference provides opportunities for businesses to meet with dozens of potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance resources and network with other businesses.  

The first day features free workshops on contracting processes, contract management and certification programs followed by an evening networking reception.  The second day begins with a breakfast program before opening the Expo Hall with one-on-one buyer meetings and booths of small businesses, resource providers, government agencies, lenders and others.  The afternoon continues in the Expo Hall, where short seminars on a range of capacity-building topics are offered throughout the day.

Click here for more information and to register.
Startups are Surviving Longer Than Ever

The latest Kauffman report finds that entrepreneurship is becoming more diverse, and small business owners are seeing more successes, according to this story by Fast Company.

The Kauffman Main Street Entrepreneurship report, which tracks overall small-business strength on an annual basis, showed many positive signs for entrepreneurs in 2016.  The report concluded that Main Street entrepreneurs are experiencing more success than at any point since the Great Recession.  For the first time since the recovery got underway, Main Street entrepreneurship activity is at higher levels than those recorded before the onset of the recession.  This increase was primarily driven by a jump in the business survival rates, which reached a three-decade high of 48.7%. This means almost half of new businesses are making it to their fifth year of operation.

Among the 25 larger states, the 5 with the highest Main Street entrepreneurship activity were Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

New Training to Support Food Hubs through National Network

A regional food hub is a business or organization that manages the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand.

A new training program to promote the financial sustainability of food hubs not just in Wisconsin but across the country will be available in 2017, thanks to $500,000 federal grant to the Food Finance Institute.

The program will create a national network of at least 100 trained food hub managers and 60 technical assistance providers to offer the financial management skills and resources needed by food hubs.

"This grant recognizes the strength of our expertise in financing food and agriculture enterprises. It is an important opportunity for us to enhance the financial viability of food hubs, and the farm and food businesses they do business with," said Tera Johnson, founder and director of the Food Finance Institute, part of the University of Wisconsin Extension.

This effort is complementary to FFI's new Edible-Alpha online training platform. Edible-Alpha is a curated open-source food business consultant community and digital learning center for food and value-added farm enterprises and the people who fund them.  Edible-Alpha.org is devoted to disseminating best practices in the profitable management and financing of food and value-added farm businesses in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, training modules and other materials.

Over the past three years, Johnson also has helped over 50 food and farm enterprises improve their financial performance and raise the money they need to grow.

Click here to learn more about the FFI's training and consulting programs, including Edible-Alpha.

The food hub training program has been made possible as part of a larger U.S. Department of Agriculture effort.  In September, it announced more than $56 million in Local Food Promotion Program grants to strengthen local and regional food systems, support farmer's markets and fund organic research.  Since 2009, the USDA has invested more than $1 billion to help revitalize local economies and provide fresh, healthy food to all Americans.

Labor Law Training Series: "Friday Fundamentals"

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development presents a series of interactive, educational web conferences open to the public from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

These sessions provide basic information about these laws: Fair Employment, Worker's Compensation, Labor Standards, Unemployment Insurance, and Employment and Training.

Most topics are expanded versions of those presented at DWD's popular Labor Law Clinics.  Courses are designed to be most helpful if you are new to your job, or to the State of Wisconsin, or if you haven't attended Labor Law training in recent years.

Download the Friday Fundamentals 2016-2017 Flyer for details on topics for upcoming sessions.

Sign up to receive e-mail notification when new training has been scheduled.  

A certificate of attendance is also available for continuing education credits.

You will find more information and be able to register for sessions at this link.

Technology Takeover: Four Emerging Tech Industries

Emerging technologies have impacted several industries over the past five years and are expected to continue doing so in the future.  IBISWorld industry research analysts 
highlight four industries that will likely be affected by developments in emerging technology over the next five years.  Read about their findings here.

Around the State. . . 

Invest in Wisconsin is a collaborative movement addressing socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities that exist within and across rural Wisconsin communities.

With a grant from JPMorgan Chase PRO Neighborhoods Initiative, the members of Invest in Wisconsin are committed to addressing the challenges facing rural Wisconsin for-profit businesses, nonprofits and residents lacking adequate access to capital.   The collaborators include Forward Community Investments, Community Assets for People, First American Capital Corporation that serves Native American Entrepreneurs, and WWBIC.

The $2.68 million grant is part of Chase's Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods initiative. They are holding listening sessions around the state to uncover needs of Wisconsin's rural, low and moderate income and communities of color. Their focus is on creating enhancing opportunities for people in those communities including the ability to start businesses and obtain funding.

The next listening session will be held on December 9 in Racine from 9:00 - 11:00 am.  Click here to read a summary of the most recent session summary.   

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The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a program of UW-Extension. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.