The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to better serve entrepreneurs and start-ups. Here are several recent improvements to Joplin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:
We have developed new coworking spaces in the newly renovated Newman Innovation Center (NIC) and in the Advanced Training & Technology Center (ATTC). Starting at only $125 per month per desk, our coworking spaces are ideal for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers seeking community, collaboration, and learning. Co-working tenants get a desk in a shared, communal setting, with amenities such as free Internet access, JACC membership, and access to free educational programs, mentorships, and e-commerce meet-ups. For more information, contact Loni Smith at the chamber.
The Chamber’s new Mentorship Program is now open to entrepreneurs seeking mentors. Topics for discussion include professional growth, leadership development, time management, and how to leverage technologies.
The Chamber launched an educational series called EdTalks, covering online marketing and sales technologies. In July, we taught local retailers and e-retailers how to leverage the Amazon Marketplace to sell products on Amazon.com. In August, we taught how to efficiently advertise on Facebook and Instagram. In September, we will cover omni-channel retailing best practices.
In May, we launched a monthly e-commerce meet-up so local businesses selling products online can share best practices and network with one another. As it turns out, there is a large, growing number of local businesses selling product online.
The Chamber, along with a group of business and community leaders, is on the verge of launching a 1 Million Cups chapter in Joplin to educate, engage, and inspire our entrepreneurs. 1 Million Cups (1MC) is based on the notion that great ideas are discussed over a million cups of coffee. 1MC is not a pitch platform, nor is it a networking event. It’s simply a chance for one to two presenting entrepreneurs to tap into the knowledge and experience of the local community in a focused and encouraging environment.
Soon, the Chamber will co-launch an “Innovation District” in collaboration with the Downtown Joplin Alliance, Missouri Southern State University, and the Small Business Development Center to cross promote and provide workspaces, educational programs, pitch competitions, mentorships, and networking opportunities.
Joplin is already an amazing place to start a business. Collectively, these new initiatives activate and organize our supportive business community to better serve and champion each other.