Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Fostering an Entrepreneurial Environment in Small & Rural Communities

Date: Tuesday, March 21 
Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm ET

Even in a city with many resources for entrepreneurs, the concept of self-employment can seem daunting to many people. It’s that much more difficult for aspiring entrepreneurs in small and rural communities. Many residents in these communities may have ideas, but need help during the startup process, as well as a supportive network of resources to expand and thrive. Join IEDC to understand how you can cultivate an entrepreneurial environment in your community that leads to homegrown jobs and economic growth.

Webinar speakers will show you how to:

• Introduce a culture of entrepreneurship
• Develop entrepreneurship support programs
• Incorporate lessons learned from small communities’ entrepreneurship programs



Maria Meyers
U.S. SourceLink at the UMKC Innovation Center
Kansas City, MO

Maria Meyers is passionate about entrepreneurship and the power it has to do good—for local economies, communities and individuals.

As executive director of the University of Missouri – Kansas City Innovation Center, Maria unites academic, government, corporate and nonprofit groups to create environments where entrepreneurship will thrive. Working to get entrepreneurs the right resource at the right time, Maria founded KCSourceLink, a strong network of 230+ business building organizations in the Kansas City region, and SourceLink, a resource network that spans the United States and beyond through its affiliate communities. She also created Digital Sandbox KC, a proof-of-concept program for digital technologies and Whiteboard2Boardroom, a system that matches technologies from research institutions with entrepreneurs who can move them toward commercialization.

Recognized for her commitment to building entrepreneurial communities, she received the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Excellence in Economic Development award in 2007 and was presented the Missouri Women’s Council Award of Distinction by the governor of Missouri in 2013. For the past three years, she has been named one of Kansas City’s 100 most powerful people. Maria enjoys speaking at national and international conferences to inspire others to support entrepreneurship as an essential economic development strategy.

Erik Pages
EntreWorks Consulting
Arlington, VA

Erik R. Pages is President and Founder of EntreWorks Consulting (www.entreworks.net), an economic development consulting and policy development firm focused on helping communities and organizations achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Since its founding, EntreWorks has worked with communities in more than 40 states and overseas.

He previously served as Policy Director for the National Commission on Entrepreneurship (NCOE). Dr. Pages has also held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and on Capitol Hill. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and serves on the Arlington County (VA) Economic Development Commission, and as Vice Chair of the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Entrepreneurship Network and on the Advisory Board for Virginia’s Small Business Development Network. He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and also holds degrees from Dickinson College (Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of Pittsburgh.