Sioux City entrepreneurship breakfast energizes crowd

Nearly 100 Siouxland area entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders and city officials gathered Nov. 29 to promote an entrepreneurial vision for the city.

The event was called Business for Breakfast, a semi-annual gathering aimed at promoting business and economic development in Siouxland. Tom Chapman, vice president of operations at Nebraska Global, was the keynote speaker.

Chapman, an entrepreneur himself, and a leader in the Nebraska push to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Midwest, talked about the key components of building an innovative mindset, then developing that within the community.

“Entrepreneurship is in vogue,” he said. “You have a chance to win because nobody is ahead of you.” He said he speaks regularly to business and community groups about fostering an environment that is friendly to emerging companies, many of them tech-based.”

He cited Des Moines and Omaha as Midwestern entrepreneurial leaders. But said that because Sioux City is gathering leaders from a variety of entities, including new businesses, that it has the momentum to move ahead with an agressive entrepreneurial vision. He also said it takes years to mature, so business leaders must be patient.

Community and business leaders were positive about Chapman’s talk. When he finished, the room was abuzz with ideas for moving forward.

Afterward, a smaller group of attendees talked more in depth with Chapman and Andy Stoll about how communities can help promote and cultivate entrepreneurship. From Stoll, this simple mantra: “Reach out to entrepreneurs in your community … tell them they are doing a great job and they have your support, then let them lead.”

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