Help for starting a small business in Nebraska

Help for starting a small business in Nebraska

Note: This cataloging is part of a larger project where we’ll explore small business start-up programs throughout our region as we look for new ways to grow opportunities in Nebraska.

Nebraska offers an abundance of resources to aid in the development of current business programs. However, finding these resources can take time and effort. This article will explore some options for those who want to participate in the economic backbone of the Good Life State. These resources can assist individuals with a small business idea or who have recently established a small business.

In Nebraska, securing funding for a project is just one aspect. Who you know and the relationships you build are equally important. These organizations empower those with inspiring business ideas. Many programs may also overlap, but if a particular group doesn’t offer what you need, they will likely connect you with someone who does.

The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) at the University of Nebraska Omaha stands out as a unique resource, providing comprehensive services tailored specifically for small business owners. It not only offers guidance on securing small business loans, but also serves as a hub for business development. The center’s impact is evident in its annual service to 2000 clients for the past five years and its ten offices across the state.

It has played a pivotal role in introducing the SourceLink program to Nebraska. This program is a valuable resource for Nebraskans with entrepreneurial aspirations, offering a Personal Action Plan for their business idea. The plan includes a personalized list of organizations grouped into categories such as business development, marketing, website design, and government economic development agencies. Each organization comes with a designated contact person. SourceLink also features a comprehensive calendar of events, listing various networking and training opportunities. This service is complimentary and available online, a crucial attribute that ensures its accessibility to Nebraska’s largely rural population, addressing the potential challenges of accessing urban cities.

Small businesses must know how to market themselves online to compete in today’s digital world. However, building a digital marketing plan can be daunting for many. Recognizing this need, Grow Nebraska supports businesses in establishing their online footprint. They provide online and in-person training sessions to help companies to navigate the complex world of digital marketing, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive online. The cost to join Grow Nebraska is $200 annually, but the benefits are significant. They offer scholarships, which can make this resource more accessible to small business owners.

Grow Nebraska also hosts an online storefront, the largest online marketplace for goods made in Nebraska. This platform offers additional exposure and an e-commerce solution for businesses in the state.

In addition to its other initiatives, Grow Nebraska plays a significant role in managing grants for the Nebraska Small Business Act. This act establishes a pilot program for small businesses with ” shovel-ready” business proposals. These grants provide $25,000 to qualified individuals looking to start their businesses and up to $12,500 in grants for business owners who have started their businesses within the last five years. The demand for this grant is very high.

Finally, Share Omaha is an online resource connecting individuals, businesses, and non-profits in the greater Omaha area. Share Omaha maintains a database listing non-profits and their needs. Starting a company doesn’t mean you can’t work with nonprofits that share similar goals. Networking through giving back benefits the community and portrays your business as one invested in contributing to what makes Nebraska great rather than purely pursuing personal gain. Share Omaha calls this “friend-raising.”

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