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Google Local Business Center: A Great Resource!

I participated in a great webinar this morning, which was taught by Connie Hancock.  She is an Extension Educator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (and a great colleague!).  She taught us about a host of tools for building our online presence.  One of the innovative tools was Google’s Local Business Center. 

Simply search Google for the Local Business Center and you can log in with your Google account.  Then, enter your buisness or organization information.  It’s a great way to build your on-line and local presence, and so far…it’s FREE!! 

Thanks Google!!  Your innovation and leadership in business development and job creation is greatly appreciated!!

Dr. Connie’s 2010 Prediction #2. Entrepreneurial Action will Continue to Rise in the United States

The continued unemployment situation will force more people to start businesses so they can generate income. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses with 500 or fewer employees make up 99.9% of the 27.2 million firms that exist and generated 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs each year over the last decade. Hopefully, nation’s leaders, policymakers and representatives will remember that entrepreneurship and innovation are key to revitalizing the U.S. economy. Our country must remove barriers to entrepreneurial activities while developing catalysts that help move ventures (no matter how big or how small) forward!

The First in a series of Dr. Connie’s Top 5 Predictions for 2010:

Prediction #1. The Economy will still be in Flux (I know…big shocker!!): There is a lot of speculation on what the economy will do this year; however, there is no doubt that it will still be in a constant state of flux. We will see some good times, yet we are also going to struggle.

People talk a lot about 2009’s high unemployment rate. A little deeper look into this situation reveals a steady increase in unemployment over the last decade. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s average unemployment rate in 1999 was 4.21%. We hit 5.07% in 2005 and stood at 9.19% by the end of November, 2009.

Some futurists predict that we are in an era of creating jobs for ourselves because the number of big organizations that employ people will continue to decline. They may be right. On the other hand, this is really not a new phenomenon. It has only been in the last generation or two that our mindset shifted from “I want to build my own future” to “I want to get a good job.”

I often wonder what my 62 year old Father really thinks about all of this. He wanted to farm but could not work out the details with his family, co-owned a TV and appliance store when we were young with my Mom (we had a great time living in an apartment above the store). As our family grew and the politics of buying and selling appliances become more complex, he “got a job” at the local meat packing plant. He started in one of the lowest (and grossest) positions and worked his way up to plant engineer over time-an amazing feat that came with a great deal of sacrifice. His time as plant engineer was short-lived. The meat packing company he originally worked for was bought out by another company. The new company decided to close the plant in which he worked despite its solid performance. So, my Dad recently started another “job” with the company that bought the plant in which he used to worked (are you following all of this?) He is grateful for the benefits and pay but does not seem overjoyed with his new situation. My Dad is one of the hardest working, greatest people of all time (I may be a little biased here but I know at least six other people who would agree with me). I often wonder what his life would have been like if he kept his entrepreneurial spirit alive. I think he wonders the same thing.

The Bottom Line: The economy is still going to be in flux. For some of us, it will be all right. For others, it will be an extreme challenge. No matter what our individual situation, it will be up to us as a nation to work together and improve our situation.

December 8 I2E End of the Year Celebration and Learning Opportunity

You are invited to network and learn with other talented individuals at the Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs (I2E) Club’s end of the year celebration!

Jo Morton, a Nebraska City entrepreneur, will share her journey of turning talents into profits as the guest speaker for the December 8, 2009 I2E Club meeting. Jo’s presentation, How Did I Get Here?, will provide attendees with ideas and inspiration designed to advance their inventions and business dreams. Like many entrepreneurs and inventors, Jo did not have an exact plan; however, she was a talented, persistent and hard working individual who knew how to take advantage of being in the right place at the right time. Jo was introduced to quilting in 1979 and has not put down a needle since. She will share her journey, which began when she was a teacher, exhibitor, and a lecturer for quilt guilds. Her business continues to evolve and grow. Jo has published 18 books and is currently writing book 19. She is also a designer for Andover Fabrics. In 2004, Jo was nominated for Professional Teacher of The Year. Jo and her husband Russ reside in Nebraska City with their three cats.

The I2E meeting will be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Kimmel Education and Research Center, 5985 G Road, Nebraska City, Nebraska. Evening festivities will begin at 5:30 PM with holiday refreshments sponsored by the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center. Jo Morton’s inspiring presentation will begin shortly after 6:00 PM. A final presentation for the evening will be given Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Extension Educator at the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center. Connie will use Jo’s inspiration to help participants celebrate their 2009 accomplishments and prepare of an even bigger year in 2010 designed to advance their ideas inventions and businesses.

All I2E Meetings are held at the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center, 5985 G Road, Nebraska City, NE. The Club is a collaborative effort of the Southeast Nebraska Partners for Progress and has been made possible by funding from a Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act (BECA) grant. There is a $10 per session fee or participants may choose to join the club and pay a small annual membership fee.

Loral Langemeier and Brady Leffler: Two Nebraskans on "The View"

I am pretty positive that there were 2 Nebraskans on today’s episode of “The View.” Loral Langemeier talked about entrepreneurship in the teen and tween set. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska. You can learn more about Loral, her business and her efforts to help people make money on her web site: http://lorallangemeier.com/

The second famous Nebraskan is Brady Leffler who comes from my hometown of West Point, NE. He played keyboard for the band that appeared today-I think-I have not confirmed this with him, but my Mom told me he was going to be on so it has to be true, right? Brady is actually the nephew of my cousin’s husband (I hope you all followed that!) I am working to confirm Brady’s appearance, which is totally cool! Way to go Brady!!

What a great example of two people who are being totally entrepreneurial! They have the ability to recognize opportunity and take risks. Both Loral and Brady are in charge of their own destinies. As a result, they are pursuing and living their dreams! AWESOME!!!

Wild Innovation’s Blog is Back in Action!

After a short hiatus, the Wild Innovation blog is back in action! I will begin posting more information on the important relationships between innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and the environment again in an effort to provoke thought and action. Together, we can turn our economy and lives around and get them moving in a more positive direction!

Interested in Finding New Opportunities? Then, come to the I2E Club!

The I2E (Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs) Club will host its next meeting on September 8, 2009 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City, NE. The meeting will begin with a networking social at 5:30 PM, followed the program at 6:00 PM. The August I2E meeting will be sponsored by HB Aeromotive.

Dr. Mary Goebel-Lundholm is the featured speaker for the evening. Dr. Goebel-Lundholm has experience in the corporate sector, academia and as an entrepreneur. She brings her real world experience to students by teaching for Peru State College. The title of Dr. Goebel-Lundholm’s presentation is, “How to find Opportunity by Viewing the World from Different Angles.”

All I2E Meetings are held at the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center, 5985 G Road, Nebraska City, NE. The Club is a collaborative effort of the Southeast Nebraska Partners for Progress and has been made possible by funding from a Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act (BECA) grant. There is a $10 per session fee or participants may choose to join the club and pay a small annual membership fee.

For more information about the I2E Club or any of its programming, contact Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild at the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center at 402-873-3166 or creimers2@unl.edu. You can also learn more about I2E, including access to past video presentations and meeting materials, online by visiting i2eclub.org. Become a fan of I2E on Facebook! Log into Facebook and simply search I2E Club.

I2E Club: 2nd Annual Elevator Pitch Contest!

Make sure to check out the information on the Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs (I2E)Club Elevator Pitch Contest on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Kimmel Education and Research Center’s web site (http://kimmel.unl.edu/i2eclub1). The contest is tomorrow night! The web site will provide you with a “how to” video and worksheet as well as information on monthly meetings and other club events!

I2E Club Overview:
When: Every 2nd Tuesday of the Month
Time: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
5:30 Networking Social
6:00 Program
7:00 “Inspiration & Motivation”
Where: UNL Kimmel Education & Research Center
5985 G Road, Nebraska City, NE 68410

Bring your business cards and be ready to network with like-minded individuals. Feel free to extend an invitation to anyone who would benefit from attending.

Fee: $10 per evening or a small fee for joining. See the membership information on the web site for more details!

You can also become a fan of I2E’s Facebook page! Simply search “I2E Club”