Nowata County Completes Entrepreneur Ready Community Program
The County of Nowata announces the completion of the Entrepreneur Ready community program. The county is the second region in the state to be recognized as having gone through the program.
Chair of the Nowata County Industrial Development Authority, Diana forth, announced completing the program on Tuesday. “Through the efforts of community leaders, businesses and RSU’s Innovation Center, Nowata County is ready to do business,” said Forth. “We believe this will help us grow and support more businesses and send the message that businesses are welcome and appreciated in Nowata County.”
The Entrepreneur Ready Community program is an economic development strategy designed to assist a region to become more business friendly. It is made possible through a grant received from the Economic Development Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Entrepreneur Ready Community program primarily focuses on distressed rural communities with populations of less than 20,000.
“Becoming an Entrepreneur Ready Community means the overall business climate is supportive and business resources are available and easy to find,” said Jeri Koehler, director of the Innovation Center at RSU. She added, “Nowata County has many assets to leverage for growth and continued prosperity. It is important that all stakeholders in the community take a proactive business approach in ensuring policies, procedures and the general environment are conducive to business and sustainable growth.”
The Entrepreneur Ready Community certification program was launched in 2010 to create a corridor of certified entrepreneurial ready communities in northeast Oklahoma that will provide support services to entrepreneurs who need business assistance to become sustainable, successful job-creating entities.
In June 2012, the Nowata County Industrial Development Authority and the city council of South Coffeeville approved a resolution to endorse and support the program. Shortly after, community members went through educational forums, conducted businesses surveys and developed a strategic plan to address business needs.
A number of stakeholders have contributed through the process. The Nowata Chamber of Commerce opted to hold educational lunch sessions for businesses every other month featuring The Strategy Center’s professional staff. Development authority members distributed business surveys to assess the needs of businesses in the area. Employers participated in several employer forum sessions to discuss their needs and outline solutions to workforce issues.
Other contributing partners include the communities of Nowata County, as well as the Cherokee Nation, Grand Gateway, Tri County Technology Center, The Strategy Center, Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance, Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance.
For more info, contact the RSU Innovation Center at 918-343-7533 or visit www.entrepreneurready.com.