We heard it and we witnessed it in action. Nebraska Strong has been a unifying message that is bringing Nebraskans, friends and family together from across the nation. Signifying strength, determination, and a resolve to rebuild, Nebraska Strong has bolstered communities and individuals who have, in some cases, lost all semblance of what they had prior to the disastrous March blizzard and floods. Through this simple message, individuals have begun to utilize their social group networks or social capital to support recovery efforts.
Join us for the 2019 CEC Conference in Beatrice, Nebraska on April 24th and 25th.
When: Wednesday and Thursday, April 24th and 25th, 2019
Where: Vintage Venue, 620 Court St, Beatrice, NE 68310
Nebraska Extension's Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference is a premier conference for those interested in building entrepreneurial communities throughout Nebraska and beyond.
One of the major challenges facing very small towns in Nebraska is hanging on to key community institutions, such as schools, hospitals, newspapers and core businesses. Among the latter are grocery stores, such as the Country Market in tiny Stratton, Nebraska, population 323.
Stratton is in far southwest Nebraska, on the Republican River just a dozen miles from the Kansas border and a hop, skip and a jump from the Mountain Time Zone that divides much of western Nebraska from the rest of the state.
In this community of nearly 900 in the Nebraska Panhandle, the past couple of years have been marked by unusually traumatic challenges. The nursing home locked its doors, the school board decided it had no choice but to close an attendance center in nearby Lodgepole, and the biggest employer in the region was bought out by a competitor.
Given the town’s name, it’s no surprise that the post office in Valentine, Nebraska, (pop. 2,800) offers a mailing program for Valentine’s Day cards. Each February, postal workers re-mail thousands of greeting cards from the “Heart City” with a special Valentine’s Day postmark. It’s just one of the things that this community in north central Nebraska is known for.
What the Community Prosperity Initiative has done for Nebraska City is getting a lot of new people working on the community’s behalf and bringing together area residents who hadn’t traditionally collaborated.
Community Prosperity case study of Ravenna, Nebraska
In November of 2017, residents of Ravenna, Nebraska, gathered for a strategic planning session and decided that, in 25 years, they wanted their small town to be a “destination community.” That dream may have been motivated, in part at least, by their experience just a couple of months earlier, when astronomy put Ravenna on the map.
Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship Education leader with NETForce and Entrepreneurship Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education, is passionate about entrepreneurship. NETForce (the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force) is devoted to spreading the word about the importance of entrepreneurship to business growth and the development of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem across the state.