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Eastern Kentuckians must harness entrepreneurial spirit

More entrepreneurs needed in eastern Kentucky - by Morgan Lentes | WYMT

PIKEVILLE, Ky (WYMT) - The theme of this year's East Kentucky Leadership Conference is creating entrepreneurial communities.

But what does it really mean to be entrepreneur? It is a word that means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

For Jason Rainey with the Kentucky Small Business Center being an entrepreneur is about never giving up until you reach your goals. He described a friend from Paintsville who went to college to study dance and then returned to her hometown to open a studio.

"Here 12 years later, she is still open," said Rainey.

So what does it take to be successful?

Kristel Smith works at the Kentucky Innovation Office in Richmond. Her job is making small business owners succeed.

"An entrepreneur is a person who is willing to start a business. That person will begin to think in an innovative way about how to grow that business and how to sustain that business and really begin to move it forward," said Smith.

If that sounds like a big job for one person, that is because it is.

The five small business experts who spoke Friday at the East Kentucky Leadership Conference say that is why you can and should ask for help.

"We help them with figuring out what their resources are. We help them with developing advisory boards, business plans and business models," said Smith.

The Kentucky Small Business Center can even help with things like market research.

"You know, we all work together as a team, which is ideal," said Rainey.

Rainey tells WYMT that partnership will allow both the business owner and community to succeed.

"Many eastern Kentuckians have an entrepreneurial spirit at their core," said Smith.

The Kentucky Small Business Center is located on Eastern Kentucky University's campus.

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Published on April 23, 2015

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