Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation (NWMEF) was launched in 2006 in the six most northwestern counties in Missouri where local economies have declined over the past ten years: Andrew, Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth Counties. The program’s purpose is to promote economic and community revitalization by capturing the passion and interest of local entrepreneurs using an innovative grass roots approach to economic development, Enterprise Facilitation™, developed by economist, Dr. Ernesto Sirolli.
Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation is controlled and managed at the grassroots level by a local Facilitation Board comprised of over fifty civic leaders, community professionals, and economic development practitioners. In fall of 2006 the NWMEF Facilitation Board entered into contract with the Sirolli Institute as a 30-month guided apprenticeship, with the goal of establishing an independent ongoing, certified Enterprise Facilitation program. In the first months, the members of the board and the Enterprise Facilitator received Sirolli training and commenced efforts to determine if this method would work for our area. Looking back board members agree that it has been a resounding success!
To date, over 675 entrepreneurs have been assisted with facilitation. Interest in the project has been generated throughout the six counties with the board members making over 1,603 personal introductions of the Facilitator to people in the community and by word of mouth. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the board has continued to grow in size. There is a regional perception that this project is desperately needed in our six counties and that it is leading to steady economic growth.