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Supporters form network to help microenterprises
JACKSON -- Fifty lenders and other supporters of microenterprises recently met for the founding conference of the Mississippi Micro-Enterprise Association Network, designed to help the smallest businesses establish themselves in the state.
MMEAN, whose slogan is "We MMEAN business," intends to provide leadership, advocacy, resources, training and technical assistance to organizations promoting microenterprise development in Mississippi. Microbusinesses typically employ five or fewer people. These part-time and full-time businesses may be home-based, farm-based or located in a small facility. Often, they are female- or minority-owned businesses.
Beth Duncan, small business development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said some of these microbusinesses provide additional resources for low-income households, and some are started by dislocated workers.
"Microbusinesses are at the leading edge of the enterprise formation process and can be found in rural, urban and suburban settings," Duncan said. "Most microbusinesses need access to technical information, small amounts of credit and networking opportunities."
Mississippi makes the 29th state to form a microenterprise association to promote networking among small businesses and supporters. During MMEAN's founding conference, participants learned about recruitment, screening and assessment strategies; business development; and lending issues.
For more information on the Mississippi Micro-Enterprise Association Network contact Patrick McDonough, chair of the MMEAN board of directors, at (601) 992-1276.