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Saturday, Dec 03, 2016

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Stodola Attends Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship

Mayor Mark Stodola joined mayors from around the nation at the fourth annual Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. At the event, themed “Diversifying Entrepreneurial Opportunity,” mayors and entrepreneurship experts will explore how cities can make entrepreneurial opportunities and job creation available to all skill levels.

Convened by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success, the conference is held in partnership with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be a keynote speaker.

During Stodola’s time at the conference, he participated on a panel with fellow mayors and entrepreneurship experts and shared lessons learned from the successful Mayor’s Summit on Entrepreneurship held in Little Rock earlier this year. He also provided information on how Little Rock’s Venture Center has shepherded Little Rock startups toward the creation of 153 new jobs and almost $7 million in capital raised since its inception two years ago.

“I am glad for the opportunity to showcase the efforts Little Rock has made to raise the profile of entrepreneurship in our city, including sharing lessons learned from our Mayor’s Summit on Entrepreneurship that we conducted earlier this year,” Stodola said. “Further, this is an invaluable opportunity to learn more from the Kauffman Foundation, as well as innovative mayors from across the country, about engaging potential entrepreneurs, connecting entrepreneurs with one another, crafting policy that fosters entrepreneurship and economic opportunity, and engaging our startup community to bring innovative solutions to long-standing city issues,” Stodola concluded.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the best avenues to economic independence and self-sufficiency,” said Jason Wiens, policy director at the Kauffman Foundation. “Mayoral leadership is critical to creating vibrant communities in which all people can pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. The Mayors Conference gives mayors access to strategies that are working in their peers’ cities and allows them to hear from experts about policies that break down barriers and encourage connectivity.”

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