Organizers of a workshop at Chadron State College worked to help entrepreneurs get their dreams off the ground this weekend.
About 30 people attended the Entrepreneurial Extravaganza hosted by the Nebraska Business Development Center’s Chadron office on Saturday, an event that helps the NBDC meet its goal of providing counseling and training to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.
NBDC student assistant Andrew Borgialli of Buffalo, Wyo., who served as one of the workshop’s presenters, said the event provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with representatives of area businesses and organizations, including banks, the Chadron Chamber of Commerce and the CSC Business Academy. Members of this year's Dawes County Entrepreneurship and Leadership Training Academy -- DELTA -- also were in attendance.
Dr. Tim Donahue, director of the Chadron NBDC office, said the organization attempts to present a workshop at least once per year for people starting a business, including youth, veterans and active military personnel. He said such workshops are important to the success of the program.
“Part of our experience has been if we do small business counseling that leads to training, and the training, like we’re doing today, will give us people who understand what we do and we can help them with their business plans,” he said.
Chadron is one of 10 sites in the state that operates an NBDC office under an agreement with the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Chadron office, which is located in the Burkhiser Complex, serves an area south to Alliance and east to Valentine.
Donahue, a Chadron State professor of business, has a long history of helping small business. In 1979 he became the state director for small business development in Minnesota, which, along with Nebraska, was one of nine small business development centers in the United States.
Donahue joined the Chadron State faculty in 2005. One of his first orders of business was reviving the NBDC, which had gone defunct after the retirement of Dr. Cliff Hanson.
“Chadron State has had a business development center. It went away for a few years and we brought it back in 2006,” Donahue said.
He said the results have been positive.
“We’ve had a number of businesses and projects that have helped the community,” he said. “In this political world, everybody is talking about creating jobs. One of my statements is that you don’t create jobs, you create businesses and the businesses create jobs. If you create a viable business, you’re going to have some successes.”
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services