Entrepreneruship Center

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Entrepreneruship Center

Joseph Busby

Joseph Busby

Joseph Busby

Rick Wallace, Executive director of Community Development Resources

Joseph Busby, Staff Writer

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It’s a “One Stop Shop for financial resources, technical assistance and business development.”

That’s how Mr. Rick Wallace, executive director of Community Development Resources, described his institution.

As a businessman, he sees the opportunity to help businesses become more successful, and as a former business owner, he enjoys seeing people restore their faith in themselves and their cause.

Community Development Resources is a non-profit institution that provides loans, business training and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and is located on the fifth floor in the Entrepreneurship Center at 265 S. 68th Street Place in Lincoln.  While CDR aims to serve low income individuals, women and minorities, Wallace clarified that this is not the entire scope of their target.

“Entrepreneurship encompasses all these groups,” Wallace said.  “But we help (all who have) difficulty accessing traditional means of support.”

Wallace added that women and minorities are more commonly unable to obtain loans from banks, but other factors could affect this as well.

Deb Payne, program manager of Alice’s Integrity Loan Fund, notes that credit history (or a lack thereof) can also keep a sprouting entrepreneur without a traditional bank loan.

“Our loans are based on character,” Payne commented.  “Not collateral.”

Alice’s Integrity Loan Fund is a contributing program to CDR as a loan program aimed at small businesses, where character and ability to follow through on a plan outweigh capital as a means to succeed in the business world.

The fund began in August of 2011 and has already supplied local businesses such as the Hallow Candle Co. (http://hallowcandle.com/) with means to create or expand its small business.

Alice Dittman (Alice’s Integrity Loan Fund’s namesake) is a former banking businesswoman and philanthropist set up her fund to supply up to $5,000 to upstart and expanding businesses, primarily aimed at women and minorities.  Other programs set up to assist entrepreneurs can also be found in CDR on the fifth floor of the Entrepreneurship Center.

Both Wallace and Payne support that a person needs to have a fire for an entrepreneurial venture.

“If you don’t wake up every day with a burning passion for what you’re doing, you need to do something else,” Wallace asserted.

When asked about new entrepreneurs, he advised: “Do your homework.  Be prepared.  Troubleshoot your problem areas.  Be realistic.  You know, don’t lie to the man in the mirror.  (Or the) woman in the mirror.”

Wallace added that adversity tempers the will to succeed.

He reported this when asked about his success stories, “Those who have overcome adversity though…people who have been incarcerated and atone themselves…people who have been told they can’t succeed…to see these people today, you know, enjoying what they do.  It’s a thing of passion.”

Payne notes that they are here when a new entrepreneur is ready.

“It’s not easy, not quick bucks.  Not everybody has it.  It’s called a lot of things, but it takes the drive,” she expanded.  “There’s an opportunity out there, people just need to go out and grab it.”

Community Development Resources and the Alice’s Integrity Loan Fund can be accessed at http://www.cdr-nebraska.org/

This article is #3 of a series on the Entrepreneurship Center, its instructors and its alumni.  The following article will provide the accounts of Prof. Scot Baillie during his tenure as a small business owner.En

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