Startup-aid inventory begins
Even the multitude of nonprofits that extend help to entrepreneurs don’t always know what other groups in the space are doing.
Entrepreneurship Nevada, a loosely organized association of groups that support entrepreneurs, looks to fill that gap with a inventory.
And Entrepreneurship Nevada is moving toward creation of a paid-membership model that will allow the organization to stand on its own feet financially, says Dave Archer, its president.
The longstanding organization sharpened its focus in the last couple of years after it was brought under the wings of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
EDAWN provided staff help to the group, assigning Doug Erwin, its vice president of entrepreneurial development, to the role. EDAWN also picked up some of the group’s costs such as hosting its Web site.
Working with Erwin, Entrepreneurship Nevada decided to focus on assistance to the groups that aid entrepreneurs, rather than providing services directly to the owners of startup businesses.
As that role developed, Archer says representatives of entrepreneurial groups expressed two desires:
They wanted to learn more about what other groups were doing to assist development of new companies.
They wanted a platform to explain their organization’s own role to other organizations.
As a result, much of the time at monthly meetings of Entrepreneurship Nevada these days is devoted to a going-around-the-table session in which representatives of 30 to 40 groups talk about what they’re doing.
A logical next step, Archer says, is preparation of an inventory of entrepreneur-support organizations and the services they provide.
“This is a high priority for a number of the members of the group,” Archer says. The project is just getting underway.
At the same time, Entrepreneurship Nevada is creating a $50 annual membership to defray costs.
“We’re now ready to support ourselves,” Archer says.
While the monthly meetings will continue to be open to members and non-members alike, paid members will have the right to vote on the leadership of Entrepreneurship Nevada and will receive other benefits.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.