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IGNITE Entrepreneurs Series

Series will add spark for small businesses; Events begin Tuesday

Throughout the Fort Dodge region, there are people who have an idea and the ambition to start their own business.

In doing so, they would join hundreds of others who are already managing their own businesses through both good times and bad times. All of those entrepreneurs — those who are already in business and those who want to be in business soon — can get some help from a new program offered by Main Street Fort Dodge and the Fort Dodge Small Business Task Force. It is called the IGNITE Entrepreneurs Series. It will begin Tuesday with a gathering called Launch Your Entrepreneurial Spirit and will continue with events in April, May, and June. Organizers say the series will provide entrepreneurs with professional advice and networking opportunities. “We want to identify all the entrepreneurs in the community as much as possible and create a support network,” said Kris Patrick, executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge. She said anyone “who has a spark and an idea to build a business, create a product or provide services to other people” is an entrepreneur. Main Street Fort Dodge received a $2,000 Main Street America US Bank grant in November to pay for the IGNITE Entrepreneurs Series. Patrick said people should participate to “unleash your potential and find your support system within the community.” The series will include these events. Launch Your Entrepreneurial Spirit: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Willow Ridge Golf Course, 1788 Madison Ave. Registration is $10 and includes dinner. Bill Adamowski, executive director of entrepreneurship, innovation, and human-centered design at Drake University in Des Moines, will be the keynote speaker. To register, visit the Main Street Fort Dodge website, the Main Street Fort Dodge Facebook page, or call 641-203-2447. IGNITE Entrepreneurial Expo: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 20 in the Bioscience and Health Science Center at Iowa Central Community College. This will be a resource fair for all businesses, with a series of speakers. Smart Start Class: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 23, Iowa Works on the Iowa Central Community College campus. This will be an educational opportunity for businesses just getting started or people thinking about owning their own business. IGNITE Vendor Fair and SPARK Your Business Contest: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25 in the Opera House at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village. Businesses will be able to sell their products and ideas to the public during the vendor fair. Businesses can win $1,000 during the contest.

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