Entrepreneurial Conference Coming in November

Focusing on building jobs and the rural economy, the first ever Kansas Marketplace will take place in November.

A farmer readies the tractor for work in the field.

A farmer readies the tractor for work in the field.

iStockphoto.com/Susan H. Smith

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Hays, Kansas – The Center for Rural Affairs will partner with the Kansas Department of Commerce Rural Development Division to host the first ever Kansas Marketplace, which will focus on building jobs and the rural economy from within. It will be held November 9-10 at the Ramada Hays Convention Center in Hays, Kansas. Early bird registration ends October 28.

"Opening doors, generating ideas and discovering solutions, that's the focus of MarketPlace," says Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs. "The conference will create opportunities for rural people, communities and small businesses through innovation and entrepreneurship."

"MarketPlace is for entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers, community leaders, rural developers, everyone interested in revitalizing rural communities and rural economies," Hassebrook says.

Small business development drives job growth and economic development in rural areas. The conference will offer training, networking and professional development opportunities for startup and existing small businesses, service providers, rural communities, and family farmers and ranchers.

MarketPlace will feature 37 booths filled with successful small businesses, service providers, and other conference sponsors. Attendees will be able to meet with experts in many fields – small business owners, marketers, web designers, etc. – who will be available throughout the event to answer questions.

MarketPlace educational tracks include Business Development, Finance, Marketing, Community Development, Agriculture, Business Development, Technology and Policy/Trends. Sessions will also cover ideas for entrepreneurial communities and practical rural policy perspectives. A total of 42 different break-out sessions will be offered.

For more information on MarketPlace or to register visit the website or contact Joy Marshall, joym@cfra.org, 402-614- 5558.

The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation. It was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and they work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.

As the state's lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity. The Rural Development Division is designed to elevate the department’s focus on rural development and encourage seamless collaboration among existing rural development organizations. The division offers an array of technical and financial assistance programs and services for rural developers and agricultural producers.