The Ottumwa Courier

November 14, 2012

Entrepreneurs needed and wanted

Guest Editorial

Kelly Poppe-Gale
Ottumwa Courier

OTTUMWA — If entrepreneurship is expected to turn our economy around, then it is necessary to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find, support and promote the entrepreneurs of our area.

The Kauffman Foundation based in Kansas City, Mo., leads the charge for entrepreneurship education, promotion and support. One of their major initiatives is Global Entrepreneurship Week, a week designated to inspire, challenge, promote and support entrepreneurs around the world. This year, Nov. 11-17 marks the celebration of GEW.

In recent articles from the Kauffman Foundation, it was reported that Americans do believe that entrepreneurship will lead the country out of this recession, but at the same time, the recession is prohibiting entrepreneurs from launching new businesses. Please take a moment to support your local entrepreneurs, encourage those individuals wanting to take the steps to starting their own business and even think about an idea you have that you have yet to put into action.

In the past, entrepreneurs often relied upon friends and family for loans to start new ventures. In fact, most entrepreneurship textbooks continue to list friends and family as the No. 1 funding source. Kauffman research contradicts this information and states that the majority of entrepreneurs rely heavily on bank funding, personal savings and often credit cards for startup funding. It is common practice for banks to require business plans including financial projections and personal financial statements, which can be a deterrent to starting a business.

There are many resources in the community, including ISU Extension, Indian Hills Community College’s Regional Economic Advancement team, SCORE, The Small Business Development Center, Area 15 Regional Planning, Opportunity Squared, local economic development offices, chamber organizations, nonprofits and even more organizations I may not have mentioned. With all of these resources available for assistance, just do it! Start your new year’s resolution early and make good on that big idea.

Kelly Poppe-Gale is the RELI coordinator for entrepreneurship and business incubation at Indian Hills Community College. She can be reached via email at kelly.poppe-gale@indianhills.edu.