Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities registration now open

Assemble a team for the greatest potential impact.

Michigan State University Extension has been involved in helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses for many years. The Connecting Entrepreneurial Communtiies (CEC) program was created by MSU Extension to educate communities on the various tools and resources available to to support entrepreneurial growth in their community. 

This statewide conference moves around each year. Always held in October, the 2017 conference will be held in Howell on Oct. 4-5. Previous conferences have been held in Port Huron, Sturgis, Houghton-Hancock, Petoskey, Marshall and East Tawas.

The 2017 conference will feature two keynote speakers and 24 breakout sessions, including two local workshops on the move. With sessions embedded in shops and venues throughout the downtown, the conference offers the unique opportunity to learn and experience an entrepreneurial community. The evening reception and networking event are also great opportunities for sharing best practices and learning what other communities are doing to support entrepreneurs.

Communities will realize maximum success in implementing the ideas learned at the CEC Conference by bringing a small team to spread the word and mobilize local efforts. The average size team is three to five, and representatives can come from business, chambers of commerce, DDAs, Main Street programs, local government, education, economic development organizations, SCORE, SBDC, service clubs, churches and more. Although team attendance is ideal, an individual can attend and become the catalyst in their community.

Join other like-minded community leaders to grow Michigan’s economy through local entrepreneurs. The conference costs only $85 and registration is open. Visit the CEC webpage for more information, and you can check us out on Facebook as well. To register, go to

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides business counseling for product development, packaging and marketing strategies that will help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food, value-added agriculture, and natural resource products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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