Unlocking the Potential of Entrepreneurs in Las Vegas, Nevada

Entrepreneurs in Las Vegas, Nevada have a wealth of resources at their disposal to help them grow their businesses and create jobs. From incubators and co-working spaces to lending programs, mentoring, and provider diversity, there are many ways to access the support needed to succeed. However, many entrepreneurs are unaware of these resources or have difficulty accessing them due to structural barriers. To better connect ideas with opportunities, Henderson, Nevada has created a comprehensive tool to connect stakeholders to available resources. The city's director of Economic Development and Tourism, Derek Armstrong, is well aware of the assets that Henderson has to offer entrepreneurs.

Located in the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada, it offers a competitive advantage for the main markets of the Southwest and is a destination known all over the world. The city and surrounding valley are home to more than 2.5 million people and are growing, providing an abundant and ready workforce. The talent pool is supported by aligned educational institutions in the region and there are many business-friendly incentives with a strategic plan to diversify the region's economy. For example, prior to this initiative, Derek was unaware that the local labor board, Workforce Connections, offered to reimburse companies with fewer than fifty employees up to 90% of a new employee's salary during their on-the-job training period. He and his team are now working to establish one of their centers in Henderson, which will help offset some new business costs. The team is focused on two objectives: making the tool useful and easy to navigate and getting the entire community to accept it.

With such exponential growth at Henderson, Derek believes this last goal won't represent much of a challenge. He believes that having a growing population and having so many people from diverse backgrounds here really gives them a different perspective. When companies want to start up, they want to know that they can also succeed. It's important to see other success stories and examples. Corianne Rice is director of economic development and entrepreneurship programs at the National League of Cities.

The Data Portal provides entrepreneurs with the information and economic data needed to do business in Southern Nevada. The Birthday Suit, a Las Vegas waxing spa, has been open for the past 12 years but last year it began its quest for domestic expansion. In recent months, several business incubators and accelerator programs have been launched in Southern Nevada, many of which focus on supporting and funding early-stage companies in Las Vegas. Las Vegas-based startup Emulait launched its personalized bottles in March and has a waiting list of 50,000 customers. The problem Derek recognized was articulating Henderson's value in a way that resonated with all audiences, especially disconnected entrepreneurs. The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance supports regional economic development along with an essential network of community partners. To continue developing the Las Vegas startup community, challenges need to be overcome that cannot be addressed “overnight” according to Saling.

With a fundamental focus on data, this site takes a three-pronged approach to attracting existing companies to move to Henderson, helping existing companies expand and helping entrepreneurs start a new business. Michael Luciani, managing partner at investment group Climate Capital said the firm invested in Las Vegas-based Halo. Nevada is known for its gaming and tourism industry but there has been a sustained effort to bolster the state's startup community particularly in Las Vegas. Mayor Carolyn Goodman believes that growth is due to the way people now see Las Vegas and its potential for entrepreneurs. There is a perception that job opportunities in the Las Vegas Valley are restricted to tourism and gaming but that is not what the data shows. With a business-friendly environment, a low cost of living and a high quality of life Nevada ranks as the best state to do business in the western United States according to FEMA.

Southern Nevada is also the region least likely to suffer from natural disasters in the United States. Henderson has created an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs looking for local support networks. This comprehensive tool connects stakeholders with available resources so they can access what they need for success. With its strategic plan for economic diversification, business-friendly incentives, abundant workforce, aligned educational institutions and low risk of natural disasters – Henderson is an ideal place for entrepreneurs looking for support.