Michigan State University Extension (MSUE)’s annual conference, Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC), has served as a catalyst for entrepreneurial ecosystems across Michigan since 2012. Designed by MSUE for small towns, CEC has gained national interest as evidenced by the adoption of this conference model by four other Extension services. This article outlines the unique conference design, details the partnership between Extension and host communities, and explores conference evaluation data validating the need to continue this programming. Lessons learned and successes to date are provided to ensure readers learn the value this unique conference format has in Extension entrepreneurship programming nationally.
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Northrop, C. A., Jamieson, K. M., Jones, P. B., Reilly, M. A., & Augst, T. (2022). Unique Conference Design Showcases Small Towns, Highlights Entrepreneurs, and Strengthens Capacity. The Journal of Extension, 60(2), Article 12. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.60.02.12
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