From founders of retail and hospitality enterprises, to innovators in the technology and manufacturing sectors, to service providers who knew they could offer something new and better to the marketplace, our region is fortunate to be home to many entrepreneurs.
These business owners create jobs, make our regional economy more secure and strengthen the quality of place we all enjoy. There’s no doubt their efforts are worth celebrating. Communities in 170 countries will do just that Nov. 12-18, during Global Entrepreneurship Week. It’s the perfect time to recognize our small businesses, and in doing so, encourage budding entrepreneurs to take their next steps.
With that in mind, the University of Kentucky Small Business Development Center in Elizabethtown is proud to partner with the Central Region Innovation and Commercialization Center to host the third annual Hardin County Entrepreneurial Awards on Nov. 15.
Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 2. The following awards will be presented: Dr. Robert E. Robbins Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year (younger than 35), Cultural Impact Entrepreneur of the Year, Start-up of the Year, Scale-up of the Year and Veteran Business of the Year.
We’re excited to recognize entrepreneurs who create the products, services and jobs that help sustain our robust economy. It’s an opportunity to honor successful, innovative small businesses and those who demonstrate the best traits of entrepreneurship including perseverance, willingness to take risk, drive and business creativity.
The event will also serve as a resource for new entrepreneurs. They’ll hear insightful presentations from successful entrepreneurs including previous Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Jim Fugitte. Members of the Lincoln Trail Venture Group, an event sponsor, also will be on hand to talk about how the group assists start-ups in our region.
Other sponsors, many of which are thriving small businesses, include South Central Bank, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, Venminder, Robbins Enterprises, Swope Family of Dealerships, Janet Team and Republic Bank.
The Small Business Development Center and the Innovation and Commercialization Center have long had the honor of providing no-cost services to small business owners throughout the Lincoln Trail region, including Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties.
The significance of our region’s small businesses is clear. Nearly 85 percent of all business establishments in the Lincoln Trail region are defined as small businesses, meaning they have 500 or fewer employees. Most companies are far smaller, with nearly seven out of 10 business establishments in the region employing 20 or fewer.
These businesses are the backbone of our regional economy and they are critical to the long-term vitality of our communities. From job opportunities for our friends and neighbors, to the support small businesses are known for providing to our civic and philanthropic endeavors, to their products, services and attractions that enhance our region’s quality of place, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate entrepreneurship.
To nominate someone for the Hardin County Entrepreneurial Awards, visit bit.ly/hcawards2018. You also can nominate an entrepreneur or RSVP for the event by emailing email@example.com. The event, held at Boundary Oak Distillery in Radcliff, begins at 5:30 p.m. with networking, followed by dinner and presentations.
Patricia Krausman is director of the University of Kentucky Small Business Development Center in Elizabethtown and is a member of the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board. She can be reached at 270-765-6737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.