Best Practices

AKSourceLink Hosts Summer Webinar Series for RuralEntrepreneurs

Published Oct 22, 2014 by

by: Melissa Houston

smallbusinessAlaska2Summer is a busy season for Alaskans.  Most residents spend their long daylight hours soaking up the sun while enjoying outdoor recreation and subsistence preparation for the long winter ahead.  U.S.SourceLink’s Alaska affiliate, AKSourceLink, kept itself busy this summer by hosting a 7-part webinar series spanning July – September.


With funding provided through a USDA Rural Business Opportunities Grant, AKSourceLink reached across the state to assist entrepreneurs in even the most remote corners of the tundra, coasts, temperate rainforest, mountains, and valleys.  With thanks to USDA’s generous funding, AKSourceLink was able to offer this series at no cost to the participants.  Through multiple successful outreach campaigns, 126 individuals registered for the series, and 72 actually attended one or more presentation.


Throughout the series, AKSourceLink’s Resource Partner network generously contributed their time and knowledge by presenting webinars and promoting the series.  Such organizations as the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, and the University of Alaska Co-op Development Program partnered with AKSourceLink to make presentations during the series.  Even private businesses got involved, with presentations from both Eagle Vision Consulting and Rosewood Coaching.


AKSourceLink website analytics smallbusinessAlaskahave repeatedly shown that Alaskan entrepreneurs are seeking help with such topics as business planning and learning more about the resources available from the State of Alaska and the SBA.  The Build Your Business Rural Entrepreneur Webinar Series offered hour-long presentations on these topics as well as social media, business plan writing, rural Arctic co-ops, and economically and ecologically effective rural businesses.


To broaden the impact of the webinar series, AKSourceLink created a Webinar Archive in their Resource Library.  There, entrepreneurs can access recordings of each webinar in the series along with downloadable materials on demand and still free of charge.

During the webinar series AKSourceLink saw increased website traffic and interest in program offerings.  Even during the season which is notoriously busy with hustle, bustle, and preparation across each region of the state, entrepreneurs and partner organizations took the time to further their education on resources that are available for Alaskan business owners.


As AKSourceLink continues outreach efforts across Alaska (which has more than two times the land area of Texas, the next largest state), entrepreneurs continue to praise the webinar series and hope that AKSourceLink will offer more webinars in the future.  The series proved to be a great success for AKSourceLink as it continues to connect Alaskan entrepreneurs with the business resources that can help them to succeed.


Content Contributed by Melissa Houston of AKSourceLink.  AKSourceLink is a proud U.S.SourceLink affiliate, America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.