WEST POINT, Neb. — For the first time, the Nebraska MarketPlace rural entrepreneurship conference will be conducted in northeast Nebraska.

The Lyons-based Center for Rural Affairs announced that the seventh annual conference will be held Feb. 12 in West Point.

“Entrepreneurship and small businesses are the economic backbone of Nebraska's rural economy. They are especially important during times of economic hardship,” said Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs and the conference's opening keynote speaker.

“MarketPlace is focused on creating jobs and building the rural economy,” he said. “Anyone who wants to create their own opportunities and shape their own destiny through entrepreneurship should attend.”

Hassebrook said the conference offers a space to share ideas and learn from other attendees. It features strong, hands-on learning opportunities for potential and existing farm, ranch, home-based and main street business owners, as well as community leaders and young people interested in entrepreneurship.

Connie Reimers-Hild, a leadership and innovation coach, educator and author will be the luncheon keynote speaker. The West Point native will discuss “Creative Confidence: Leading Yourself & Your Business.”

“Before you can successfully lead your team or your business, you must first lead yourself. So, invest in yourself,” said Reimers-Hild, who is the unit leader at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City. She also founded the coaching and consulting firm Wild Innovation.

The conference also will include exhibitor booths, as well as educational sessions on such topics as social media, cooperatives, bookkeeping basics, health care policy, ePublishing and patents and copyrights.

About the conference

What: Nebraska MarketPlace rural entrepreneurship conference

When: Feb. 12, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Neb.

Registration: Before Jan. 25, $45; then $55 until Feb. 6.

Information: www.cfra.org/marketplace/ne-13. If interested in sponsorship or exhibitor information, contact Kim Preston at kimp@cfra.org or 402-687-2103, ext. 1008.

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