CEDC Spreads Awareness on National Entrepreneurs' Day
16 Nov 2021
More Is Made Here, Area Companies
Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers whose actions can create jobs and improve overall community resiliency. Often much more so than large, established companies, entrepreneurs are risk-takers, seeking to inject their ideas into the business world at significant financial and personal uncertainty. And their reward goes beyond personal gain, as they play a vital role in delivering a healthy and growing community.
This year, National Entrepreneurs' Day is November 16, a perfect time to raise awareness about these enterprising individuals, the benefits they bring to Conroe, and what can be done to encourage them on their journey. The knowledge required to start a business can be overwhelming for an individual or even a small group of entrepreneurs. The Conroe Economic Development Council (CEDC) is proud to help connect these drivers of economic development with the resources and networks necessary to achieve success.
This November, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy reported there were 32,540,953 small businesses in the U.S. Those businesses drove 43.5% of gross domestic product and employed 46.8% of private sector workers! The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed thousands of individuals to put their entrepreneurial ideas to the test by starting their own businesses. The U.S. has seen a surge in business starts with applications for new ventures increasing 24% in 2020 over 2019, according to data from the Census Bureau. More than 4.3 million business applications were submitted in the country in 2020, with 2021 on track to exceed that number by about one million applications! In comparison, 2010 saw nearly 2.5 million applications, 75% less than 2020.
Texas was one of the most active states for entrepreneurs in 2020, with 384,118 applications, a 26.3% increase over the previous year. Montgomery County had nearly 9,000 business applications in 2020, an incredible 22.1% increase!
Resources for Entrepreneurs in Conroe
Conroe is proud to offer quality resources to assist small businesses and prospective entrepreneurs, including many local and state incentives designed to ease the costs of doing business.
Lone Star College (LSC) is a network of seven colleges and 12 centers, all conveniently throughout the region. Located in Conroe, LSC-Montgomery and LSC-Conroe Center offer a range of educational opportunities and services for entrepreneurs seeking to further their education or gain the skills they need.
Sam Houston State University (SHSU), just north of Conroe in Huntsville, is another excellent resource, offering a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship.The SHSU Small Business Development Center partners with the Entrepreneurship Program to identify internship opportunities in the region. New and seasoned entrepreneurs alike can receive free one-on-one business advising services, along with low-cost workshops on everything from starting a business to growth, productivity, and profitability direction. Professional experts provide guidance on many topics, including loan applications, business plans, marketing strategies, budgets, and more.
The University of St. Thomas Max Center (USTMAX) offers training and networking for entrepreneurs in Conroe. One convenient program is its free, quarterly Lunch & Learn events, including Entrepreneurship for Veterans, where experienced business owners share their knowledge with interested veterans, as well as an introduction to USTMAX’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
One significant bottleneck entrepreneurs are experiencing is finding and training quality employees once their business is up and running. The Texas Workforce Commission is an organization with specific resources dedicated to that issue. Its Skills for Small Business for Employers program has up to $2 million available from the Skills Development Fund dedicated to training for small businesses.
Starting a business is an exciting, daunting adventure. The Conroe community is filled with knowledgeable individuals with fantastic ideas, just seeking the chance to get started. The CEDC is grateful for the opportunity to support these dynamic entrepreneurs as they seek to fulfill their dreams and encourages them to contact us. We celebrate our entrepreneurs who help show why in Conroe, Texas, Up & Coming is Made Here!