Port Huron chosen as host site for 2016 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference

Local team writes successful application.

Port Huron, Michigan has been selected as the host community for the 2016 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference (CEC). Typically held in October, this conference moves around each year to communities that are actively and successfully supporting entrepreneurs, that are also “walkable”, and meet a number of other criteria which best suit the unique format of the conference. The CEC uniquely “embeds” the conference in the community, with classes held within businesses. With conferees encouraged to shop during breaks, the entire community benefits from exposure as well.

“The Blue Water Area Chamber and the Blue Water Area partners are excited that the city of Port Huron has been selected to host the 2016 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference. We look forward to hosting leaders from around the State of Michigan to share best practices and to learn about the tools and resources available to help entrepreneurs grow in our communities”, said Thelma Castillo, President & CEO.

Michigan State University Extension has been involved in helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses for many years. The CEC program was created in Michigan and was launched in an effort to educate communities on the various tools and resources available to help them help entrepreneurs grow in their communities. 

Previous conferences have been held in Lansing, Petoskey, Marshall and East Tawas. This year’s conference was held in two communities—Houghton/Hancock and Sturgis.

The target audience is focused on small teams with representatives from various community organizations (business, education, government, chamber, service, economic developers, etc.) that all have an interest in learning how to make their community more conducive to entrepreneurial growth. This team approach not only builds local capacity, but has proven to be a successful model to implement many of the great concepts gained from participating in CEC.

“We are excited to have Port Huron host our 2016 Conference” said Andy Hayes, conference coordinator. “We think Port Huron has a lot to offer and will make an outstanding site for next year.”

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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