Celebrating Abilene’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

May 2, 2022Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Celebrating Abilene’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 

Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million small businesses within the United States. While Abilene might not be home to the millions, we think the ones that do call Abilene home are very special.

If you read the headlines you’ll be hit with news of inflation, unprecedented risk, and supply-chain issues. While these headlines are an accurate depiction of what our small businesses are facing, we encourage you to take a moment to look into the eyes of our local entrepreneurs and small business owners – we think you’ll be encouraged.

You’ll see the grit of an overcomer, the tenacity of a risk-taker, the resolve of a purpose-driven life, and if you look close enough, you’ll probably see a twinkle that lets you know adversity is no match because #abientrepeneurs are trailblazers and pioneers who consistently push forward in the face of the unknown. It’s this pioneering spirit that has brought us to today and will propel us into tomorrow.

We hope you’ll join us in the celebration of our small business community as we honor the accomplishments of the past and look forward with expectancy towards the good that is to come. The week is sponsored by the Northwest Texas Business Resource Center, First Financial Bank, Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Hyundai, and the Development Corporation of Abilene.

Here in Abilene, being a small business owner and entrepreneur is a journey – but it’s a journey that you never have to make alone. Rather, it’s an adventure of a lifetime made with friends and neighbors and a community that will continually advocate for your success.

Abilene is the kind of community that won’t leave you during the valley but will do everything it can to see you have the opportunity to celebrate on the mountain top. Our business community is continually creating and fostering an environment that contributes to our entrepreneurial ecosystem. This environment has many players, and it’s a multilayer collaborative effort with the single goal of supporting entrepreneurs in every step of their journey.

We don’t take our entrepreneurial ecosystem lightly, and we work very hard to keep it vibrant.

Our ecosystem is home to organizations such as the Northwest Texas Business Resource Center, that provides valuable resources essential to the formation of small business startups, such as business plans and free business mentoring, while financial institutions such as First Financial Bank offer SBA loans to make the dream of the entrepreneur a reality. Not to mention the vast amount of like-minded individual business owners, such as Mike Dunahoo of Star Dodge, who continually champion the small business community. Furthermore, partnerships and contributions made by our City and its Development Corporation of Abilene are forging partnerships between the public and private sectors, and it’s these partnerships that are impacting the viability of our community in a positive way for generations to come.

Moral of the story: it takes all of us to create and foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages, develops, and celebrates those who possess the heart of an entrepreneur. Every place has an ecosystem, and we believe in making ours a place where there’s room for us all to thrive. Thank you to those who have and continue to blaze the trail for our economy and small business community. We salute you, and we thank you for being a pioneer and champion for small business.




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