GROW Nebraska – eCommerce & Marketing ExpertsJamie Bright
Photo Credit: Courtesy of GROW Nebraska
Interview with: Tiffany Stoiber, Director of Marketing and Business Development at GROW Nebraska
What is GROW Nebraska?
The GROW Nebraska Foundation seeks to help entrepreneurs with marketing, market access and other assistance in running their businesses. A key way GROW helps is by providing the Buy Nebraska Store and their BuyNebraska.com ecommerce site. These platforms allow businesses to sell their products without having to staff a store or pay administrative costs for an ecommerce site. We also provide them valuable feedback on packaging, labeling, branding and even new product creation. Buy Nebraska is a great help to businesses looking to complete market tests.
GROW’s share of proceeds from the Buy Nebraska in-person and online store are funneled right back into our other work: providing training and assistance for small business owners. We offer two free monthly webinars featuring experts who cover all sorts of topics related to business. We also provide one-on-one training, an SEO-friendly webpage, free Google ads, special members-only trainings and more for our members. We’re in the businesses of helping entrepreneurs make a sustainable living through their businesses, no matter where they live in the state.
Our team is led by Founder and CEO Janell Anderson Ehrke, who started the program back in 1998. Also a part of the Foundation are Director of Marketing and Business Development Tiffany Stoiber, Member Relations Coordinator Amanda Miller and Product Marketing Coordinator Clarissa Feldman.
What need do you fill that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners to start, scale or accelerate their business in Nebraska?
The number one thing that small businesses report needing help with is marketing – which is our specialty. Not only do we help them promote their products and services, or make new connections at venues we have provided (like our annual MarkeTech Conference), but we also offer training so they can take professional advice and run with it for their business.
What makes your services stand out or what is unique about what you do?
We work with businesses of literally all sizes – from those just getting their products off the ground to well-established companies like Tasty Toppings, who makes Dorothy Lynch.
Do you have any new services you would like to highlight?
Recent partnerships have allowed us to give our members the opportunity to be featured on TV (“The Business Connection”) and on a podcast (“Good Life Small Business”). We’re excited that these opportunities help these businesses get on new mediums that have a lot of impact.
At the beginning of this year, we opened up the GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center in Omaha. We are so excited for this presence in the metro area. It’s the goal of the center to focus on helping women and other minorities who have big dreams achieve them.
What thoughts do you have about the future of entrepreneurship and small business in Nebraska?
2020 brought some intense challenges for small businesses, but it also forced them to pivot and start conducting their business in new ways, primarily by focusing more efforts online. This has led to huge successes for many entrepreneurs. With more and more people shopping online and spending more time online, this gives businesses a larger pool of potential customers than ever before. Nebraska entrepreneurs can reach customers all over the world thanks to connective technologies. For those who utilize online tools correctly (something we hope to help everyone do), the possibilities are endless.
How does SourceLink Nebraska enhance your ability to service Nebraska entrepreneurs and businesses?
SourceLink Nebraska is able to help us reach entrepreneurs we may have never reached before. Because we are located in Kearney, but service all of Nebraska, some areas of the state are harder to reach. SourceLink Nebraska should help us change that. We are so excited for the opportunities that SourceLink Nebraska will bring for us and our members!
What is your favorite aspect of SourceLink Nebraska? Why is SourceLink Nebraska needed in your region?
We love that SourceLink is able to produce legitimate leads for businesses. By providing information and context about our foundation, those we connect with will hopefully be people we can actually help.
Tiffany Stoiber is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at GROW Nebraska.
Location: We are located in Kearney, but we service all of Nebraska. Our members come from all over the state, from up in the panhandle to the metro Omaha area.
Visit their profile in the SourceLink Nebraska Resource Navigator!