New Coalition Established:
Creating a Robust Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Douglas County
by: Marlin Bates
County Extension Director/Agent, Community Development
Lawrence, KS - Our community recently gathered to discuss the assets and opportunities that make Douglas County a great place to start and grow a business. Entrepreneurs, support providers, and concerned citizens all came together to learn about a new organization dedicated to convening this conversation and framing the action that it will take to make a difference. This organization is not a program of any particular agency or firm. It’s a collaborative space where individuals, organizations, founders and funders can come together to learn from each other and incubate mutually reinforcing activities.
Douglas County CORE is dedicated to creating a platform of sharing among members with the goal of developing an environment to help residents of Douglas County – particularly underserved audiences - achieve successful business ownership by collaboratively elevating ecosystem supports, creating awareness of opportunity and promoting access to knowledge, resources, and connections for starting and expanding entrepreneurial businesses. CORE strives to be an approachable, open, and inclusive network of practitioners capable of referring entrepreneurs to appropriate service providers that suit their needs to enhance their potential for success.
This is an organization that has been nearly a year in the making – and it officially launched in late June 2021. Organizers are looking for anyone who has an interest in building a more receptive community for dreamers – one where entrepreneurship and job creation are readily achievable and celebrated. Their model of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem includes six areas of focus, including:
- Human Capital
With this breadth of focus, a wide variety of perspectives and talents is needed. Participating in this discussion is an acknowledgment that the competitive advantage of any local firm lies as much, if not more, in the attributes of the community as it does in the unique proposition of the firm. If you, too, believe that we can do more to attract and retain local businesses – and you’re willing to carve out the time to engage in this community development endeavor, please join us in a future discussion. You can learn more about our upcoming events here: http://www.douglascountycore.com/