Having opportunities to work, earn and live comfortably in a community you love – it’s a slice of the American dream. Perry County Economic Development Authority recently signed a partnership agreement with the Southern Missouri Innovation Network (Innovate SOMO) which will open up major educational and job opportunities to the southeast Missouri region.
“When provided access to opportunities, support resources and skilled talent, entrepreneurs and small business owners produce a chain reaction of job creation, revenue growth and community improvement,” said Dr. James Stapleton, co-founder of Codefi.
Innovate SOMO was founded by Codefi, an organization headquartered in Cape Girardeau with regional offices in Springfield, and efactory at Missouri State University, two of Missouri’s most successful innovation hubs. The mission of Innovate SOMO is to unlock the full potential of entrepreneurship and innovation to transform communities in the southernmost 47 counties in Missouri.
“We strongly believe in the power of a network and that by working together we all thrive,” said Rachel Anderson, executive director of efactory. “Community Connectors and collaboration will continue to make southern Missouri the best place to start and grow a business.”
The initiative includes over two dozen partner communities.
“Collaboration with entrepreneurship support organizations such as the efactory in Springfield and Codefi in Cape Girardeau is an incredible opportunity for our local businesses in Perry County,” says Crystal Jones, executive director of the Perry County Economic Development Authority. “We are excited to partner as a Community Collaborator and look forward to see our businesses take advantage of the resources available to help them grow and thrive right here at home.”
The network’s creators have successfully raised nearly $10 million in state and federal competitive grants and private contributions. These funds support the expansion of programs and resources delivered through the network, connecting digital workers to training, entrepreneurs to resources, and employers to talent.
It’s all with one goal in mind: to drive regional economic growth and prosperity.