At the heart of vibrant communities are businesses that keep the local economy humming. To support businesses in communities large and small throughout the state, Kansas State University hosts free monthly webinars on topics pertaining to business.

Dubbed "First Fridays," the goal is to increase a community’s knowledge about expertise, education and economic resources available to them and to boost the number of transactions between small business owners and entrepreneurs with the resources that can help them succeed, said Nancy Daniels, community vitality specialist with K-State Research and Extension and First Friday webinar coordinator.

The April 6 First Friday webinar focuses on ‘Innovative Rural Business Models,’ presented by author and speaker Becky McCray. McCray owns a cattle ranch and small business in a rural community and follows rural trends, entrepreneurship and related topics.

“People love listening to Becky McCray. She has such a revitalizing message,” Daniels said.

The May 4 webinar is “Tech Commercialization,” presented by Greg Panichello and Alan Bagley with the Kansas Small Business Development Center. The SBDC provides assistance to help businesses evaluate their solutions, gives connections to important government entities, venture capitalists and angel investors and assistance to refine their pitches.

Previous First Friday webinars, including “How Marketing Helps Small Businesses Grow,” “What Can Land of Kansas do for Small Businesses” and “Launching an e-Commerce Store” are recorded and available online.

More information about First Friday webinars is available by contacting Daniels at or online at

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