A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Central Kansas Entrepreneurship Center (CKEC) at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas, took place Jan. 13 with local government officials and representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture in attendance.
The festivities also included an entrepreneurship fair featuring students and local business owners and a program led by Tabor President David Janzen.
Tabor received a $90,000 Rural Business Development Grant from the USDA and signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Hillsboro to provide on-campus and local economic development services. Tabor will utilize its former Welcome Center on the corner of D and Lincoln streets and provide staff to operate the facility, while the City of Hillsboro will fund initial start-up costs and payment for facility leadership.
Hillsboro Mayor Lou Thurston said the ribbon cutting serves as a recognition of what the city and college can do to better one another and strengthen the economy.
“Given our vision and values, it’s only fitting that we’ve created this partnership with Tabor College that fully embraces who we are as a community,” he said.
The CKEC will provide guidance on entrepreneurship pipelines from ideation through pitch development and incubation, instruction on program management and business consulting services for start-ups and regional small businesses. The project also seeks to develop and execute innovation and design-thinking workshops and entrepreneurship speaking series while providing opportunities for entrepreneurial mentorship with Tabor faculty and staff.
“We are thrilled to recognize and thank the people and organizations that made the Central Kansas Entrepreneurship Center possible,” Janzen says. “This facility will play an integral role in helping support the dreams and visions of our students and the local business owners that help our community thrive.”
Tabor College is the Mennonite Brethren college located in Hillsboro, Kansas. The mission of Tabor College, founded in 1908, is to prepare people for a life of learning, work and service for Christ and his kingdom.