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MOSourceLink has released its statewide Resource Rail, a map of the resources available to entrepreneurs and business owners across the state of Missouri, region by region.
Available in a physical version as well as a digital download, the Resource Rail is a guide to the resources available to business owners through their entrepreneurial journey, from inception through proof-of-concept, rollout and expansion and exit. Entrepreneurs can use the Rail to find the right low- or no-cost resource —whether they lead tech startups, high-growth scaling businesses, microenterprises or Main Street businesses.
The Resource Rail also includes a “Money Line,” which paves a path through the funding and financial resources available at each business stage.
“Entrepreneurs and business owners need connections all along their journey,” says Alexces Bartley, network builder for MOSourceLink, an organization that connects Missouri’s 500+ business-building resources into a network to make them more visible and accessible to entrepreneurs.
“That’s why we created the Resource Rail, to be a map of the steps and resources an entrepreneur needs to start and grow a business in every corner of Missouri.”
”Our state’s regional competitiveness is determined by how well we, as Missourians, leverage our talent to strengthen our workforce, create businesses that generate jobs and advance ideas that will change the
world,” adds Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri System, one of the sponsors, along with the Missouri Technology Corporation, of MOSourceLink.
“MOSourceLink and its Resource Rail allow entrepreneurs and
business owners to more easily access the resources available to them at the University, in their communities and across the state, so they can find their path and accelerate businesses in Missouri.”
How to Use the Resource Rail
The Resource Rail illustrates the stages every business takes—inception/idea, market intro, rollout and growth/expansion—and maps the statewide and regional resources available to anyone, anywhere in Missouri, by four entrepreneurial types: innovation-led, Main Street, microenterprise and second-stage.
“The statewide map is important to let entrepreneurs, for example, in Kirksville, know the funding mechanisms, educational opportunities, industry expertise and talent development agencies available to them across the state,” adds Bartley. “But we also know that entrepreneurship is local, so the regional directories help entrepreneurs find connections to investors, coaches and mentors who understand their business and their community.”
Business owners can then reach out to MOSourceLink for a Personal Action Plan to get connected to the right resource, at the right time, to reach their next milestone. MOSourceLink services are free, thanks to support from the University of Missouri System and the Missouri Technology Corporation.
“There is incredible innovation happening across the state and so many tools available to support entrepreneurs. The hard part is making sure entrepreneurs are connecting to the best tools for their businesses,” says Tori Benson, interim executive director at Missouri Technology Corporation.
“The MOSourceLink Resource Rail provides a clear map and path to helping Missouri’s inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs take the next step—to find a market, develop a prototype, secure proof-of-concept capital—so they can keep their innovations moving forward.”
“Entrepreneurship will never be easy,” Bartley adds. “By its very definition, it’s a risky venture. But finding the right resource to help you start your business—that should never be hard or frustrating. MOSourceLink is here to make that part of entrepreneurship easier.”