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South Dakota MarketPlace moves to Aberdeen

Saturday, March 01, 2014

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Statewide Rural Entrepreneurship Event at new venue

Aberdeen, SD – Rural America relies upon small businesses.  Over 84% of rural businesses in the upper Midwest have fewer than five employees and over two-thirds have no employees at all. 

“Everyone recognizes the importance of small business to the U.S. economy, but those businesses are absolutely critical to the survival and growth of our rural economies,” noted Mark Olchefske, Director of Northern State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship & International Business.  “Those rural communities with an active entrepreneurial and small business environment are flourishing.  MarketPlace helps small rural companies grow.”

The third South Dakota MarketPlace event will be held Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 on the campus of Northern State University in Aberdeen.

MarketPlace brings together two things that rural small business owners and entrepreneurs need- networking opportunities and access to information.  The presenters, exhibitors and other attendees are a great source of both information and inspiration.

MarketPlace attendees can choose from 20 different presentations made by content experts, service providers and serial entrepreneurs.  A few of the presenters include Scott Meyer of 9 Clouds, Travis Schaunaman of Production Monkeys and Heidi Martilla-Losure of Dakotafire. 

The afternoon keynote speaker is Burt Chojnowski from Fairfield, Iowa.  Chojnowski is a serial entrepreneur who was actively involved in turning a small (pop. 9,500) farming community into a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.  He has hosted the National Rural Entrepreneurial Gathering and is a national expert and presenter on grassroots, bootstrapping economic development strategies involving asset quilting and economic gardening.  

Chojnowski produced and directed the documentary, Kora, the circumambulation or parikarma of Mount Kailash, considered the holiest mountain on earth and the world’s largest and environmentally sensitive watershed. Revered by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and others, a circumambulation, or kora, of Mount Kailash and dip in the holy waters of nearby Lake Mansarovar removes the sins of all life times. Kora includes visits to sacred places in Sichuan Province of China, “the heavenly state,” and Kathmandu, Nepal. 

He also won a ribbon at the 2010 Iowa State Fair during the cow-chip toss. 

MarketPlace offers training, networking, and professional development opportunities for start-up and existing small businesses, service providers, rural community leaders, as well as family farmers and ranchers.  You can find out more at 

Media Contacts: Mark Olchefske, or (605) 626.7721 or Kathy Micheel, or 605-354-4829

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A Half-Century of Serving South Dakotans

For more than half a century, the three nonprofit organizations comprising GROW South Dakota have fulfilled a vision of “GROWing sustainable communities through housing, community and economic development.” In 1966 the Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program (NESDCAP) was established as a Community Action Agency in the War on Poverty and has served thousands in 17 counties with emergency services as well as various housing programs.

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GROW South Dakota

GROW South Dakota
104 Ash Street East | Sisseton, SD  57262
Phone (605) 698-7654 | Fax (605) 698-3038