Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation

NWMEF is an economic development project trained by the Sirolli Institute and serves six counties including Andrew, Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth. Services are offered completely free and are strictly confidential. There are more than 60 citizens from the six counties, along with regional representation, on the resource board that comprises NWMEF.   It is a nonprofit organization which offers free and confidential business coaching in Northwest Missouri. We are a group of over sixty volunteers from six counties who care passionately.

NWMEF provides intensive, one-on-one management coaching and networking assistance, linking clients to programs and resources offered by development organizations and professionals.  This program is targeted to help any person who aspires to create or expand a business in  one of the five counties currently served.

According to Annette Weeks, NWMEF Facilitator, the success of a local business is totally dependent on the support of the community. If a community wants the shops in their town, they must make the effort to actively support them. To have a local restaurant succeed, a community has to patronize the establishment. With the cost of gasoline also being a factor, staying local versus driving in to the city is also a savings for us, in addition to being better for our environment.

“By keeping dollars local our communities, businesses, schools and jobs all benefit. Our towns prosper through every purchase we make, stimulating local economies and helping local businesses with sustainability. Buying local helps en-sure local jobs and local businesses in turn invest in our communities.  Buying locally is a benefit to all of us in ensuring local business will still be there when we need them.”

Recently, NWMEF received Community Spirit Award at Catholic Charities’ annual Reflections of Hope Luncheon.  This award recognizes individuals and groups whose work towards helping others and improving communities. NWMEF was honored for their work in rural North-west Missouri in 2010. NWMEF has served 110 clients, helped support the creation of 55 new jobs, 11 new businesses and helped generate $3,723,892 in new sales in the region. Father Tom Ludwig of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, presented the award and said, “the award recipients are “People helping everyday people every day.”

Over fifty people gathered at Cameron’s Missouri Senior Center in May for an introductory workshop about enterprise facilitation.  People from Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb and Harrison counties were all present for the workshop. Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation was invited to talk about the non-profit organization and the work they are doing in six counties in the northwest corner of Missouri. “It’s the same idea as barn raising,” NWMEF facilitator Annette Weeks told the crowd, explaining how the facilitations help people help each other and in turn help themselves.

Well over half of the attendees stayed after the initial workshop to discuss being part of the steering committee and talk about the next steps in organizing a similar group within their five county region.

For more information about NWMEF, contact Annette Weeks, facilitator, at (816) 262-5158 or facilitator@nwmef.com. NWMEF is a not-for-profit organization. 

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