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Business and the Economy

Downtown Business, ENACTUS Hold Hands of Budding Entrepreneurs

Photo Courtesy of Creative Foundry

Drury University's ENACTUS, formerly known as SIFE, has partnered with a local business to help Springfield entrepreneurs get their own companies up and running. KSMU’s Shannon Bowes has more.

Typing away in an e-mail, one staff member at the down town Creative Foundry answers questions from a local entrepreneur.

Creative Foundry is called a “co-working center,” where individual start-up companies can share an office space until they are ready to move out and set up in their own location.

It also functions as a meeting place for those who work at home or need a more professional atmosphere.

Creative Foundry owner, Jim Michels, wants this space to act a social environment for Springfield entrepreneurs who want to network with others about ideas they may have or questions about how to get there.

“In conversation, a lot of people who are entrepreneurs or in that group feel somewhat isolated socially in Springfield. Where much of the social structure in this town is either on university, or church, or school and the people who don’t fit in one of those groups, and maybe they are high tech professionals or creative professionals, don’t necessarily have a community they feel included in,” said Michels.

Drury’s ENACTUS tries to create a better society at the local level and, in this case, by stimulating economic growth and support.

One of the businesses currently using the space, Michels’ explains, are two professionals who have now started their own firm.  One of the things they do is to tailoring their advertising and branding techniques to Spanish-speaking clients. They will grow inside Creative Foundry until they need an office of their own.

“This isn’t about lowering costs providing a traveling sales man with a spot. This is about community. This is about uplifting this community. It’s not about specially one business service. That is the difference between co-working and executive offices,” said Michels.

Michels hopes that the space will soon become a “Hub” or a hangout spot for local professionals to meet, share, and work.

For KSMU News I’m Shannon Bowers.