New Businesses Starting Up in Southeast Missouri Thanks to OJS

by News Bureau on Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 19, 2012 — Several new small businesses will open or expand in southeast Missouri in the next few months because of the help of an award-winning, nationally-recognized program that recently completed in Perryville, Mo.

Twelve aspiring entrepreneurs recently graduated from the Operation JumpStart (OJS) small business training program in Perryville.

The participants learned to develop the components of viable business feasibility plans, and all had the opportunity to submit their plans in late June in a competition for seed grants or start-up capital for their business concept. In addition, entrepreneurs who graduated from the OJS program are eligible to apply for start-up capital through ACCION Delta, a new microlender to the Missouri area, part of the larger organization ACCION Texas. 

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University sponsored Operation JumpStart. This microenterprise development program was additionally funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA offers a variety of programs and support services to help clients navigate the issues they face with their initial applications, and resources to help after they open for business. They help small businesses start, grow and compete in global markets by providing quality training counseling and access to resources. The SBA cannot endorse any products, opinions or services of any external parties or activities.

The class was co-facilitated by Scott Sattler, executive director of the Perry County Economic Development Authority, Jason Buxton, owner of Graphic Options located in Farmington, Mo., and Sandra Cabot, Director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center at the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

“Entrepreneurship is a vital part of economic development today. It is a fact that small businesses create good sustainable jobs in the community,” Sattler said.” I really enjoy facilitating the Operation Jump Start sessions because you get to see entrepreneurs turning their passions into a business.”

Lisa Palmer, OJS graduate of this Perryville class, is the coordinator of the Mississippi River Hills Association which seeks to connect, develop and market locally-grown and produced products within the region. Palmer attended OJS to further advance her personal business venture, Never Bored Creations, which uses the art technique of paper filigree (also known as quilling) to create memorable gifts, cards, and artwork that appeases both the romantic and the whimsical at heart.

“Before OJS, I had lots of knowledge on starting a business, but it was scattered and left me feeling inadequate. The class helped me put that knowledge into cohesive order, giving me confidence to launch my business,” Palmer said. 

For Palmer, this is currently a part-time business venture, but she plans to expand Never Bored Creations into a full-time business within the next three years. She plans to sell her products at selected craft events and festivals in Missouri and western Illinois and also through local gift shops and an online store. 

Operation JumpStart has been instrumental in assisting more than 700 individuals who have started or expanded more than 250 small businesses in Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois. The CIE will offer four additional Operation JumpStart programs in 2012. The locations for the summer and fall programs will be in Poplar Bluff, Dexter, Cape Girardeau, and Cuba, Mo. For more information about the OJS program and other services available from the CIE, please call (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/cie

The CIE is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to advance the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the surrounding region.