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Creating Coaching Networks to Stimulate Entrepreneurship in Resource Dependent Communities

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Creating coaching networks to stimulate entrepreneurship in resource dependent communities l.jpg

Creating Coaching Networks to Stimulate Entrepreneurship in Resource Dependent Communities

Information in this presentation is consistent with mission and purpose of Iowa State University Extension in providing relevant information on innovative concepts and best practices for Community Entrepreneurship development and it is being distributed by the Iowa Community Vitality Center (CVC) for educational purposes in Iowa.

Excerpts of Presentation at the National Public Policy Education Conference September 19-22, St. Louis Missouri by Eric Scorsone, Ron Hustedde,and Larry Jones of the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky.


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Who are Entrepreneurial Coaches?

  • Coaches:

    • Leaders in their communities who will support entrepreneurs and build a culture that is entrepreneurship friendly

  • Coaches can be:

    • Chamber of Commerce Directors

    • Bankers, Lawyers, Accountants

    • High School teachers

    • Extension agents

    • Retirees

    • Others…….

  • Anyone interested in the process of counseling and assisting local entrepreneurs


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    Coaching is:

    • supportive,

    • questioning,

    • encouraging,

    • about helping people to solve problems;

    • clarifying individual and community visions/directions;

    • holistic; embraces the whole person (community)

    • helps people to set goals and deadlines,

    • action-oriented,

    • change,

    • proactive relationship


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    Coaches do:

    • Nurture and encourage entrepreneurs in a variety of activities including:

      • Idea generation

      • Business Planning

      • Financing

      • Team Building

      • Marketing

    • Assist local communities in stimulating entrepreneurial climate and culture

      • School curriculum activities

      • Local entrepreneurial fairs or centers

      • Marketing the benefits of entrepreneurship to the community


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    Coaches do:

    • Networking and brokering

      • Connect entrepreneurs to people

    • Resource Facilitator

      • Connect to SBDC and other technical and financial assistance

    • Industry Content and Trends

      • Knowledgeable of industry trends and opportunities

    • Psychology and Self-Awareness

    • Community Support and Climate


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    Coaching is not:

    • teaching,

    • telling people what to do,

    • pushing personal agendas on others


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    Coaches do not:

    • Conflict with existing business service providers

      • At the appropriate time, coaches feed entrepreneurs into SBDC system or other provider systems

    • Provide Business Financing

      • Coaches direct entrepreneurs to appropriate bank or financial institutions or other private investors

    • Manage Businesses

      • Coaches help entrepreneurs find resource providers or build management teams


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    The Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaching Leadership Program

    • Two classes of entrepreneurial coaches trained

      • 30 coaches in each class

      • 1st class: Sept 2004-August 2005

      • 2nd class: Sept 2005 – August 2006

    • Coaches must apply to program (June 2004, 2005)

      • program selection committee is KY Agricultural Development Board, Entrepreneurship Committee

    • Classes meet monthly (2 days a month)

    • Class participates in international trip


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    Some Key Trends in Leadership programs:

    • Leadership programs are growing in popularity because of their need and impact in shaping community life;

      2) Personal, business and executive coaching is a new and growing profession because it helps people to solve problems, meet challenges, reach goals and focus and achieve results more quickly.


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    Anticipated products:

    • an entrepreneurial coaching support network;

    • imagination about entrepreneurship potentials;

    • coaching skills (i.e., asking challenging questions; helping others to set goals)

    • self-identity as "entrepreneurial coaches" -- not just a teacher, banker or farmer.

    • understanding about nurturing entrepreneurs (ie. best practices;sensitivity to youth, women)

    • technical skills

    • outreach capacity --- minimum outreach of 50 per year

    • reflection on what it means to be an entrepreneurial coach -- lessons learned


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    and this will lead to:

    • more entrepreneurial support activity in counties and region;

    • more outreach-focused entrepreneurs;

    • self-sustaining entrepreneurial support group

    • new sense of regional identity and cooperation (not just one county versus another).


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    Coaching Curriculum I

    • Seminar 1: Creativity and Idea Generation (Jay Kane)

    • Seminar 2: Visiting an Entrepreneurial Community (Athens, Ohio)

    • Seminar 3: Entrepreneurial Coaching

      • Seminar leaders from Scotland’s Hunter Center for Entrep. University of Strathclyde

    • Seminar 4: Meeting other entrepreneurship support providers

    • Seminar 5: Where are the Markets: New Trends in the Regional, National and Global Markets


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    Coaching Curriculum II

    • Seminar 6: Building entrepreneurial capacity

    • Seminar 7: Envisioning a new entrepreneurial support system (Trip to rural Scotland)

      • Working with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, John Bryden (University of the Highlands) and many others

    • Seminar 8: Bringing it all together


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    Long Term Sustainability

    • Coaches will be able to maintain membership and network through a Entrepreneurial Coaches Alumni Network and annual meetings

    • Coaches will participate in activities with other entrepreneurship support providers

    • Goal is to secure finding for statewide and continued training via KY Agricultural Development Board

    • Extension agents will also be able to participate in training in future


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    What will it take to do this in my community?

    • Strong Community Buy-in

      • Community and business leaders should be committed to supporting project

        • In-kind And monetary support

        • Program marketing assistance (nominating candidates)

    • An issue that is driving the need for changing in the community or region

      • Traditional industry or agricultural decline

      • Community dissatisfaction with status quo

      • Internal social or demographic changes in community


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    What you need?.....

    • A little or lot of money

      • Program is flexible and can be run on a variety of budgets

        • National or regional speakers (speaker fees) or conduct in-house training

        • Field trips?

        • Overnight or one day seminars (lodging and food expenses)

        • Transportation to and from seminar sites


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    What you need?....

    • Seminar Participants and Selection Process

      • Key part of conducting coaching program

      • Need a strong and widespread marketing campaign to generate interest

      • Selection committee

        • Should consist of neutral set of selectors to avoid political or personal conflict of interest

        • Good excuse for why someone wasn’t selected

      • Diverse candidate background

      • Committed candidates


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    What’s available?

    • Coaching curriculum is being developed by Kentucky team and available for others to use

    • Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and others are aware of coaching concept and willing to assist

    • In the future , a process and outcome evaluation will be available


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