Local entrepreneurs may participate in a statewide study by contacting the University of Missouri Outreach and Extension office in Jackson.
"This is powerful information," said Gwen Richtermeyer as she looked over preliminary results of an ongoing survey of small business owners. "They are telling us exactly what we need to do to help them. We just need to know more."
Richtermeyer is the director of primary research for the Extension's Business Research and Information Development Group (BRIDG).
BRIDG, a cooperative effort of the four University of Missouri campuses, is conducting a study of 10,000 Missouri small business owners in a variety of industries, including life sciences, service, wholesale, manufacturing, construction, rural retail and value-added agriculture.
And Richtermeyer is looking for more respondents and more information.
"The university's business development programs want to deliver services that are consistent with the needs in the business community. We want to know what these entrepreneurs need to learn and how they want to learn it," Richtermeyer said. "Once we know that, we can better design services and educational opportunities that will help them acquire the information they need."
Rick Sparks is an Extension business and industry specialist in the Jackson office. Call him at 243-3581, e-mail him at email@example.com, or visit him at 684 W. Jackson Trail to find out more information about this entrepreneur study or to sign up to participate. Those interested can also call (816) 235-6343.
The research is being conducted via personal interviews, focus groups, and e-mail and mail surveys. Results will be available early next year.
These results will guide the development of services offered by Missouri Small Business Development Centers, University Outreach and Extension Business and Industry Specialists, Missouri Procurement Assistance Centers, the Missouri Federal and State Technology Partnership and the Missouri Business Development Network.