For Communities



  1. Creating Entrepreneurial Communities -  makes the case for creating entrepreneurial communities to create wealth, income and jobs and shares the stories and best practices from the FRED Conference (Focus on Rural Entrepreneurial Development) that have been held in Fairfield Iowa over the last seven years.

  1. How To Turn Your Town into An Incubator - is a step-by-step guide to make the virtual support systems available to all kinds of entrepreneurial ventures, from home-based businesses, micro-enterprises and gazelle-type startups.

  1. The Power of the Entrepreneurial Class

  1. Introduction to Economic Gardening and Asset Quilting

  1. Entrepreneur Rhymes with Manure - features the stories of successful entrepreneurs.  Success stories teach and motivate. By sharing the successes and failures, the community collective wisdom and entrepreneurial literacy can be strengthened including greater tolerance for risk-taking failure and success.

  1. The Entrepreneur’s Survival Kit - these ten practical strategies and techniques and will be valuable for all types of entrepreneurs and important additions to their tool boxes.

  1. How to Attract the Best Workforce - find out what the best workers are looking forward in a community and a local business culture.

  1. Place-making - how to harness your community’s entrepreneurial talents and assets to improve the quality of life and make it attractive for young people and entrepreneurs.

  1. Growing the Local Economy - How to boost local investment, banking, spending and business ownership to strengthen the local economy.

Burt A. Chojnowski is a recognized expert on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial development systems, alternative financing systems for entrepreneurs and how to create entrepreneurial communities.

Guest Lecturer on Entrepreneurship (Maharishi University of (Management, October 2002)

Guest Lecturer (Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Tippie School of Business – 2002-2003)

SMART Conference, Iowa Department of Economic Development (Panelist – Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids and Johnston, Iowa – May 2002)

Reality Check – Venture Capital in Iowa  (Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference, April 2003)

To Develop Venture Capital in Rural Iowa (First Iowa Rural Investment Conference, Fairfield, Iowa, May 2003)

Fairfield’s Entrepreneurial Achievements (Maharishi University of Management - Founder’s Day (Fairfield Iowa, September 2003)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Iowa Rural Development Council, Fairfield, Iowa, Sept 2003)

Creating An Entrepreneurial Culture  (Venture Network of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa, November 2003)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (National Association of Seed and Venture Capital Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2003)

Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs (Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Tippie School of Business, Iowa City, Iowa, January 2004)

Energizing Entrepreneurship in Rural America (Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and Center for Heartland Leadership, Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City, Nebraska, March 2004)

How We Turned Our Whole Town into An Incubator (National Business Incubation Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2004)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Iowa Bankers Association Economic Symposium, Ames, Iowa, May 2004)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Kossuth County Economic Development Association Annual Meeting, Wittemore, Iowa, August 2004)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Small Towns on the Road to Success, Decorah, Iowa, September 2004)

Guest Lecturer (Maharishi University of Management, September 2004)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Georgia Economic Developers Association Annual Conference, Savannah, Georgia, September 2004

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities – Council of State Governments Annual Conference, Anchorage, Alaska, September 2004)

Creating Sustainable Entrepreneurial Communities (Bioneers Conference, Fairfield, Iowa (October 2004)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Statewide Academy on Entrepreneurship, Fairfield, Iowa, October 2004)

Creating Art-Preneurial Communities (Boot Camp for Art-Preneurs, Fairfield, Iowa, November 2004)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (National Association of Seed and Venture Capital Funds Annual Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2004)

The Power of Peer Networking (Marshalltown, Iowa Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Association, November 2004)

Most Important Lessons Learned From Creating Entrepreneurial Companies (TAB – The Alternative Board, Des Moines, Iowa, December 2004)

National Gathering of Rural Entrepreneurship Practitioners (RUPRI/Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and Kauffman Foundation, February 2005)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Rural Community Economic Development Conference, Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs, Peoria, Illinois, March 2005)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (InvestNebraska – Lincoln, Columbus, Aurora, York and Ord, Nebraska, March 2005)

Creating An Entrepreneurial Community (Carroll County Extension Services, Carroll, April 2005)

Western Illinois Leadership Academy (Keynote Speaker, Quincy, Illinois, April 2005)

Alternative Financing Strategies (Striking the Right Notes on Entrepreneurship, Federal Reserve and American Bankers Association, Memphis, April 2005)

Entrepreneurial Network Development (Louisiana Governor’s Conference on Economic Development, New Orleans, April 2005)

Cost-Effective Approaches to Rural Business Incubation (National Business Incubation Association Annual Convention, Baltimore, May 2005)

Entrepreneurial Networking Best Practices (National Rural Entrepreneurial Gathering, Fairfield, Iowa, May 2005)

The Fairfield Story and Entrepreneurial Support Strategies (Energizing Entrepreneurship in Rural America, Nebraska City, Nebraska, June 2005)

The Power of Networks for Rural Entrepreneurs (Regards to Rural III Conference, Welches, Oregon, June 2005)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Iowa Independent Bankers Association, Lake Okoboji, Iowa, July 2005)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (21st Century Symposium on Economic Development, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Pentagon City, VA, Sept 2005)

Characteristics of Entrepreneurial Communities (Cool UP Summit, Marquette, Michigan, October 2005)

Entrepreneurial Pulse of Southwest Illinois (Keynote and host of Entrepreneurial Summit, Edwardsville, Illinois, November 2005)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (2006 Tri-County Economic Forecast Conference, Chico, California 2006)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Building Communities from Within, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Springfield, Missouri

Creating An Entrepreneurial Community (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Canton, Missouri, March 2006)

Supporting the Entrepreneurs of Today; Seeding Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Workshops (Redmond and Medford, Oregon, April and May, 2006)

National Economic Gardening and Rural Entrepreneurship Gathering (Host, Fairfield, Iowa, May 2006)

Nothing Ventured – Nothing Gained, Creative Sources of Financing for New Ventures (Regards to Rural IV, Oregon Rural Initiatives, Kha-Nee-Ta, Oregon, July 2006)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (International Economic Development Council Conference, New York, Sept 2006)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Michigan State University Extension, October 2006)

National Rural Entrepreneurship/Local Economy Gathering  (Organizer and Host, Fairfield, Iowa November 2006)

Economic Gardening 1.0 (Kenai, Alaska April 2007)

Economic Gardening 2.0 (University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska April 2007)

Finding Great CEO’s  (Worlds’ Best Technology Showcase, Arlington, TX, May 2007)

10 Bootstraping Strategies for Entrepreneurs (Entrefest, Cedar Falls, Iowa March 2008)

Fairfield Local Economy Summit (Host, Fairfield Iowa, January 2008)

Economic Gardening Strategies (National Economic Gardening Gathering, Steamboat Springs, June 2008)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (CDI, Moline, IL, July 2008)

Economic Gardening (Techfest, Galesburg, IL, November 2008)

Fairfield Local Economy Summit (Host, Fairfield Iowa, January 2009)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Stark County, IL, February 2009)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Carroll County, IL, February 2009)

Local First (Quincy, Illinois, March 2009)

2009 Economic Gardening Boot Camp (Host, Fairfield, Iowa, April 2009)

2009 National Rural Entrepreneurial Gathering (Host, Fairfield, Iowa, April 2009)

2009 Southwestern Wisconsin BEST Conference (Keynote, Fennimore, WI, April 2009)

How to Turn Your Town Into an Incubator, Kansas Economic Gardening Conference (Junction City, Kansas, May 2009)

2009 Business Alliance for Local Living Economy Conference (BALLE), (Denver, CO, May 2009)

Community Branding and Downtown Revitalization, Kentucky Elected Officials Tour, (Scottsville, KY, October, 2009)

Entrepreneur Rhymes with Manure (Texas Rural Innovation Forum, Austin, Texas - January 28, 2010)

Entrepreneur Rhymes with Manure (International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit,The Woodlands, TX, February 1, 2010)

Organic Entrepreneurship and Economic Gardening Keynote (Southern Illinois Economic Development Association Annual Conference, Carbondale, Illinois, April 8, 2010)

Entrepreneurial Success Stories (Texas Rural Challenge, San Marcos, TX, May 24, 2010)

Alternative Financing Strategies for Entrepreneurs (Fairfield Entrepreneurs Association, Fairfield, Iowa, June 17, 2010)

Organic Entrepreneurship: How to Turn Your Town into an Incubator (Blane Canada Webinar, June 28, 2010)

Local Economy Summit, Master of Ceremonies (November 13, 2010, Fairfield, Iowa)
Economic Gardening Conference (Keynote, Rogers State University Innovation Center, Claremore, Oklahoma, November 17, 2010)

Economic Gardening Boot Camp (Fairfield, Iowa, May 5, 2011)

FRED Conference (Host, Fairfield, Iowa, May 6, 2011)

Economic Gardening and Asset Quilting (Business Retention and Expansion International Conference, WIlliamsburg, VA, May 11, 2011)

Using Economic Gardening and Asset Quilting to Turn Your Main Street into a Power Place (National Main Street Conference (Des Moines, Iowa, May 23, 2011)

Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs and Expanding Businesses (MC, Fairfield Entrepreneurs Association, June 11, 2011)

Economic Gardening and Asset Quilting for Main Street (Maysville, KY, October 30, 2011)

Asset Quilting (Maysville, KY, January 18, 2012)

Economic Gardening and Asset Quilting for Main Street (Silver City, NM, January 19-21, 2012)

How to Attract the Best Workforce (Indiana Economic Development Association Spring Meeting, Indianapolis, March 1, 2012)

TEDxFairfieldChange (Host, Fairfield, Iowa  April 5, 2012)

TEDxSummit (Doha, Qatar April 16-20, 2012)

TEDxFairfield Live (Host, Fairfield, Iowa June 27, 2012)

Innovation Summit (Keynote Speaker, Flagstaff, Arizona  October 9, 2012)

TEDxFairfield Women 2013 (Host, Fairfield, Iowa, December 5, 2013)

Fairfield Annual Awards Banquet (Emcee, Fairfield, Iowa, December 12, 2013)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (Keynote, Dunn County Economic Development Association Annual Meeting, Menomonie Wisconsin, January 14, 2014)

Big Ideas, Small Towns: Young Entrepreneurs and the Future of Rural America, (New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Denver Colorado, February 14, 2014)

Survival Kit for Entrepreneurs, (Keynote, South Dakota Market Place, Aberdeen South Dakota, March 26, 2014)

How to Attract the Best Workforce and Harness Your Entrepreneurial Talents to Create a Rural Renaissance City, Keynote at 130th Anniversary Banquet for Aberdeen South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, March 27, 2014)

The Big Talk - Conversations about possibilities, action and branding (Keynote, Bovard Studio Annual Conference, Fairfield, Iowa, April 15, 2014)

For More Information:

Call: 641-919-2163


Speaking History


Community Asset Quilting - Connecting Your entrepreneurial resources

Participants in this 2 hour workshop will have an opportunity to build team working skills, express their creativity to develop concrete action plans. The outcome will be strategic doing of fresh ideas and objectives.

Asset quilting can shift the major pattern of behavior of a group from a cycle of neediness to one of empowerment. It features a facilitated process that your group, community, or network can use to promote positive group collaboration.

There are five major benefits of Asset Quilting:

  1. 1. Asset Quilting helps us “link and leverage” the  assets, strengths and entrepreneurial resources in our community.

  2. 2. Asset Quilting help build beneficial relationships and propel them into collaborative action. 

  3. 3. Asset Quilting  opens up opportunities for action towards Creating Entrepreneurial Communities.

  4. 4. Identify leaders and strengthen positive group dynamics.

  5. 5. Structure a sustainable organization for dynamic activity and powerful impacts.

Entrepreneurial Development Systems 1.0 - 7.0 - Creating a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem

We will provide key strategies for energizing organic entrepreneurship and economic development in your community. Each strategy will feature concrete case studies, implementation steps and access to ongoing resources.

    1. 1.0 - Local Living Economies

    2. 2.0 - Entrepreneurial Innovation Networks

    3. 3.0 - Creating a Stronger Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 

    4. 4.0 - Competitive and Market Intelligence

    5. 5.0 - Business Retention and Expansion

    6. 6.0 - Community Branding

    7. 7.0 -  Connecting Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship