Creating Entrepreneurial Communities Conference set for September 29-30

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities Conference

How can small towns and rural areas promote entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and revitalize their communities?

University of Missouri Extension and partners in the Hannibal area will explore that question at the first Creating Entrepreneurial Communities Conference, Sept. 29-30 in downtown Hannibal.

The two-day conference is open to anyone interested in learning more about how to develop thriving communities that support entrepreneurs, said Lisa Doster, conference co-chair and MU Extension county engagement specialist in community economic development.

“CEC is a small-town conference for small towns held in small towns,” Doster said. “This conference is held in shops and businesses throughout the town, which puts attendees at the ground level of entrepreneurial communities.”

The conference brings together local entrepreneurs, public officials, economic developers, and community leaders to better understand entrepreneurship, network with like-minded people, and collect resources that participants can share in their own communities, she said.

Keynote speaker Andrew McCrea, author of “Total Town Makeover,” will look at what successful community revitalization efforts have in common. Breakout sessions will be held in a variety of locally owned businesses in downtown Hannibal. Topics include historic preservation, funding options, revitalization, tourism, youth programming, and more.

Speakers include local leaders and entrepreneurs, MU researchers and extension specialists, and other experts in fields related to community and economic development, Doster said. State Rep. Louis Riggs, R-Hannibal, will lead a breakout session on broadband, remote workforce development, and e-commerce. MU Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart will deliver the closing keynote.

For details and registration, visit this link or you can learn more about MU Extension’s CEC program at this link.

The $100 conference fee includes all meals. A special room rate has been reserved at the Best Western on the River. For conference attendees arriving early, the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering a networking event aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. This is limited to the first 100 paid registrants.

Conference sponsors include Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, Northeast Power Cooperative, Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, the Ignite Entrepreneurial Program, and Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission.

For more information, contact Lisa Doster at 660-465-7255 or [email protected], or Stephen Mukembo at 660-747-3193 or [email protected].