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Energizing Entrepreneurs, a statewide conference for entrepreneurs in rural communities, is designed to inspire and provide resources for anyone who wants to start or support a small business in their rural community.

The conference, hosted by North Dakota State University Extension, will be held Oct. 1-2 in Garrison.

“What’s special about this conference is that it takes place in a rural community and is designed to help rural entrepreneurs or anyone else with an idea and passion to make their opportunities right where they are,” said Jodi Bruns, NDSU Extension leadership and civic engagement specialist.

“If you already own a business, are thinking about starting one, or you want to learn more about how to help small businesses succeed in your community, this conference is for you,” Bruns said.

On the first day of the conference, keynote speaker Annie Carlson of Mercer will share real-life advice from a real-life entrepreneur.

Carlson and her husband, John, own and operate Morning Joy Farm, located in Mercer. The farm is a third generation, pasture-based, local-market farm with a commercial kitchen and food truck that specializes in homemade catered meals for special events, bulk family meals, cooking classes and helping their customers know where their food is grown.

In her keynote address, Carlson will discuss her experiences in a Fortune 500 Company and running a one-woman show, and share what she has learned from her successes and failures.

On day two, Chappy Windsor, founder and chief executive officer of Dakota Chappy, a clothing store based in Minot and Bismarck, will share her passion for serving women and changing lives.

Windsor, a North Dakota native, is an inventor, entrepreneur and small business champion. Her desire to increase mobility and utility in women’s clothing has put her at the forefront of change in the fashion industry. Windsor is the creator of one of fashion’s first all-in-one shaper garments, the Dakota Chappy Total Tight. She is a frequent fashion correspondent on North Dakota Today, as well as the host of her own show, Chappy TV.

In addition to the keynotes, participants will be able to attend breakout sessions that focus on four tracts:

• Encouraging a Thriving Economy in a Rural Community

• Marketing to the Masses

• Getting Creative to Make a Living

• Real World Small Business

“The Energizing Entrepreneurs conference is a concept that has been popular in other states,” said Bruns. “This conference is different in that in won’t be held in a convention hall, but rather the breakout sessions will be held in local businesses around Garrison. “If you’ve ever thought about starting a business in rural North Dakota, this conference will give you the spark and the tools to get started.”

Space is limited, so those planning to attend should register as early as possible. Visit http://bit.ly/EnergizeConfGarrison for more information and to register.

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