Reagan Hales

A New Spin On A Community Garden: Why Amarillo Is Blooming With Successful Entrepreneurs

Every fall, my neighbor starts working in his garden. He’s out early in the morning, dirt up to his elbows busy planting bulbs that will bloom in the spring. His yard and flowers look amazing each spring that it almost makes up for my I-have-three-kids-and-a full-time-job-with-no-time-to-think-about-daffodils yard.

I’d love to look outside my window each spring and see the same view he does. Real gardeners know a healthy yard and a beautiful flowerbed takes work. It takes time. It takes an investment by my neighbor throughout the year to tend to his garden so that the fruits and the flora will greet him in the spring.

There is another type of “gardening” that I learned about this summer: economic gardening.

What Is Economic Gardening?

Simple concept: grow an economy by supporting local entrepreneurs. Economic gardening connects entrepreneurs to the resources and information they need to grow, adds jobs and pours back into the local economy.

Amarillo already has such a rich soil of resources for entrepreneurs and, as a community, does a fantastic job to connect new business owners to all of the resources available. Aside from the State’s business-friendly tax structure, organizations like the Small Business Development Center, the Chamber of Commerce, and the West Texas Enterprise Center all work diligently to nurture entrepreneurs and small businesses in Amarillo.

For these reasons, our city has been ranked time and time again as one of the best cities to start a small business.

EnterPrize_logo.pngEvery year, the Amarillo EDC celebrates as a new class of entrepreneurs embarks on the WTAMU EnterPrize Challenge, an annual business plan competition funded by the AEDC that invests $500,000 into local entrepreneurs.

For more than 20 years, we’ve watched men and women, young and old set out to follow a dream and set new goals. There’s nothing quite like watching these local companies break through barriers and shine in new successes as their products or services begin to take root.

Supporting Local Entrepreneurs

The Amarillo EDC will be supporting two projects this fall to help some budding entrepreneurs continue to grow and encourage others to not be afraid to dream.

In October, we will be partnering with the WT Enterprise Center to sponsor eight entrepreneurs as they attend the Inc. 5000 Conference in San Antonio, Texas. This annual event connects some of the greatest minds in business today with the fastest growing companies in America.

Our entrepreneurs will have a chance to learn from these successful leaders, promote their own companies and also serve as community ambassadors to this vibrant audience.

DreamGirl-Instagram6.jpgTo celebrate this year’s theme of women entrepreneurs for Global Entrepreneurship Week, we are once again working with the Enterprise Center and Amarillo National Bank to bring a screening of the “Dream, Girl” documentary to Amarillo on November 17.

This documentary tells the stories of 10 inspiring female entrepreneurs, showcasing the moments that helped them achieve success to the struggles they encountered along the way.

Bring your daughters, your sons, your best girlfriend or your husband. We promise that you won’t walk away from this event uninspired.

While we may not be planting bulbs for the spring, we are thrilled about the community’s garden of entrepreneurs that are getting ready this fall.

Every week, the AEDC will share a blog about Inc. 5000 or Dream, Girl. Follow us on Facebook so you don't miss out!

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