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WIRED workshop to examine regional entrepreneurship
Steve Leer, Ag Communications
Posted on Wednesday, September 5 2007

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Entrepreneurship traditionally refers to new business, but the concept is fast becoming a tool that can be applied across broad sections of an economic region. The Energizing Entrepreneurs (e2) Institute workshop, sponsored by Indiana WIRED, will offer innovative ways to foster entrepreneurship. The workshop will take place Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 at the Best Western Brandywine Inn and Suites in Monticello, Ind. Indiana WIRED is a work force development initiative administered by Purdue University.

This is the first time the national e2 program has been offered in the Indiana WIRED region, said Terri Lester, program manager at the Purdue Center for Regional Development.

The e2 Institute offers training for community leaders and citizens in creating local entrepreneurial support," Lester said. "It is a nationally recognized program offered by the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. Community teams of four to six members each will develop action plans to implement in their respective communities. Participants also become certified to offer direct support to community efforts to foster and nurture entrepreneurship."

Anyone interested in becoming part of a community team and improving their community's ability to attract entrepreneurs, grow enterprises and create an entrepreneurial climate should attend the workshop, Lester said.

Workshop training includes:

* Certification to provide e-training and apply its principles.

* Development of local plans for implementation.

* Acquisition of skills to create an entrepreneurial support network.

The workshop registration fee is $400 per team. The fee includes meals and lodging. Additional funding is provided by a U.S. Department of Labor grant to Purdue.

Workshop enrollment is limited. Applications are available online at http://www.conf.purdue.edu/wired. The application deadline is 5 p.m. (EST) Oct. 12.

Additional workshop information is available by contacting Lester at (877) 882-7273, tllester@purdue.edu.

Indiana WIRED is a three-year, $15 million program that combines the business, civic and educational resources of 14 north-central Indiana counties - Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Wabash, Warren and White - along with the region's colleges and universities and other key organizations. WIRED stands for Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development.

Indiana WIRED has four components designed to:

* Create globally competitive industries by combining university research with existing advanced manufacturing, advanced materials and agribusiness firms to generate clusters of innovation.

* Build an entrepreneurship super-region through the development and growth of new business, while simultaneously equipping existing industry with the tools to think and act entrepreneurially. Emerging and existing entrepreneurs - including students - along with community leaders and economic development support organizations are key partners in this effort.

* Develop a work force with 21st century skills. The two-pronged initiative focuses on providing older workers the skills to remain employable in the future while developing educational models based on science, technology, engineering and math disciplines for K-12 students.

* Weave supportive civic networks. To ensure regional viability, cooperation must cross jurisdictional lines, such as cities and counties. The boundaries are irrelevant in a global economy that places an emphasis on entrepreneurship and high performance.

For more information about Indiana WIRED, visit the project's Web site at http://www.indiana-wired.net/

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