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UWA, AT&T, Alabama Power collaborate for summit

The University of West Alabama has joined with AT&T and Alabama Power Company to announce the Alabama Summit on Rural Innovation and Entrepreneurship, set for Friday, April 17 at the Bell Center on the UWA campus. The event will feature an exceptional slate of successful entrepreneurs, business leaders and experienced economic leaders who bring unique perspectives to address rural opportunities for entrepreneurial development in Alabama’s rural communities.

Event coordinators expect the program and expertise that will gather to be a tremendous step forward in economic development, economic education, and overall livability for rural Alabamians. The stated purpose of the Summit is to provide leadership, innovation and creative solutions for Alabama’s rural communities by building an economic infrastructure and entrepreneurial ecosystem for future prosperity.

“Following the impact and success our recent summits have shown on rural technology workforce development, we decided to continue to expand our efforts in rural economic development,” stated Dr. Tina Jones, Vice President of UWA’s Division of Economic and Workforce Development. “UWA has grown into one of the state’s leading institutions of higher learning in fostering rural development.  This is a natural next step in our strategic efforts to build a rural entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

“Our purpose is to help equip business owners, experienced and emerging entrepreneurs, small business leaders, policymakers, educators, economic development professionals and community leaders with the skills, knowledge and practical tools for addressing the unique talent and entrepreneurial opportunities in our rural areas,” emphasized Jones.

“The Summit will provide an outstanding opportunity to connect entrepreneurs and community leaders with a wealth of resources to build thriving communities,” stated Johnnie Aycock, Senior Advisor for Economic & Workforce Development at UWA. “There will be a full day of networking, learning and resource building. You will be able to tap into opportunities to develop business ideas, to build successful enterprises, and transform a community into an ‘entrepreneurial community.’”

In addition to the three presenting sponsors, the following have also joined as partners for the Summit:

Economic Development Association of Alabama; The Edge at The University of Alabama; Economic Development Partnership of Alabama & Alabama Launchpad; Opportunity Alabama; Co.Starters; DeWitt LLC; Main Street Alabama; Alabama Communities of Excellence; Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama; Auburn University Extension Service;  Small Business Development Centers of Alabama; National and Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

Space is limited and tickets will go quickly.  To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/91807561889 or call 1.833.UWAWORK for more information.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 26 issue of the Demopolis Times.)