The E-Center became operational in 2003 and was established to support and strengthen Phillips County. The E-Center has helped to leverage economic development assets of the region by assisting with potential workforce and providing emerging and existing entrepreneurs with the educational tools and support that they need. While the initial intent was for the E- Center to support Phillips County, the residents of thirty- one adjacent counties in Kansas and Nebraska have utilized and benefited from the offerings of the E-Center as well, thus creating an additional partnership with our rural neighbors. Showing that the E-Center is a strong advocate for independent small businesses as they are the corner stone of the American economy and economic spirit.
The E-Center is rapidly becoming a regional training ground for entrepreneurs! My Own Small Business Class as well as the ESI youth entrepreneur program are both revolutionary and are helping to develop the emerging entrepreneurs in North Central/Western Kansas.
In partnership with the Discover Phillipsburg Main Street, My Own Business class was offered in the Spring of 2012. This ten week course is for entrepreneurs seeking information on how to start their own business. Twelve individuals were enrolled in the class and up to now, three of them have started their businesses.
In an effort to begin recruiting our youth back to rural Kansas, the E-Center developed a partnership with the Phillipsburg Middle School and Discover Phillipsburg Main Street. This partnership was partially funded by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation through the E-Center and the Foundation for Rural Services. The EntrepreneurShip Investigation curriculum was taught during the Spring semester to 51 eighth grade students. With five of those students developing a product and selling it in downtown Phillipsburg at their own MarketPlace.
Because of the success of this pilot program, a summer camp was offered in the E-Center. Thirteen students ranging from sixth through eighth grade participated in this four-day camp. At the end of the week, twelve youth businesses were highlighted at the Marketplace.
Pioneering as a leader in youth entrepreneur training, the E-Center and ESI program were highlighted in the video Raising Hope, by the National Economic Developers Association. Here is a clip from the video which highlights our ESI Summer Youth Camp:
The entire video: Raising Hope by the National Rural Economic Developers Association
In continuing the efforts to recruit our youth back to rural Kansas, the E-Center presented the possibility of a regional youth program at the Investment Connection at the Federal Reserve Bank in July. “Planting Seeds for the Future,” will be a summer youth camp which provides entrepreneurial training to our youth.
Also, the E-Center staff along with Discover Phillipsburg Main Street will be presenting our program at the E-Communities state-wide conference in September.
The E-Center realizes the value in helping our youth explore the opportunities they can create for themselves with the support of their local rural communities. Providing them the hope and circumstances to return and live in our small rural Kansas towns.
Also, available at the E-Center is the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. This career assessment tool helps individuals identify their strengths which can aid them in decision regarding which educational path to pursue, develop a strategy to advance their career or enhance their job search. MBTI trainings are available for organizations and/or businesses. Trainings include personality assessments, team and leadership building.
Located in the Fischer Building, the E-Center has created a partnership with the building that has produced a win win situation for both entities. The E-Center provides a state of the art meeting room as an enhancement for tenants to seek occupancy, and on the other hand while the E-center has grown and is exceeding it’s capacity, the building provides additional meetings rooms.
If you are interested in scheduling a training for your employees, need help with a business plan to develop your own business or want to attend one of our classes; contact Bridgit Smith, director at 785-540-4110