Business Incubator Started to Nurture Small Businesses in Downtown Joplin

Business Incubator Started to Nurture Small Businesses in Downtown Joplin

It’s hard enough to start one business but two Missouri Southern State University alumnus are creating their third, with two successful operations going strong. This one will help others succeed.

The Midwestern Collective is designed to help grow businesses in downtown Joplin.

Emily Studer once operated her photography business out of her Oronogo home. But now has an office in the Midwestern Collective.

She said, “I’m just a little guy. For me, to buy a building downtown, that’s not gonna happen. It’s been super helpful to just connect with Joplin and be in a shared space really helpful.”

And it’s a money saver. Downtown Joplin has its office here too. Board member Drew Kimble said, “You’re not renting an entire space or a building. One room, typically shared internet access, so you’re really cutting down a lot of bills, cutting down on utility costs.”

The business incubator is the brain child of Bart Paden and Matt Johnson who are partners in two businesses already. Midwestern Interactive, a digital marketing and software company and Midwestern Built, a clothing line. Midwestern Collective is their way to help fellow entrepreneurs.

Johnson said, “Providing a place for business owners to call their own and an address in Joplin downtown Main is just a powerful thing for a small business to have. It helps out with their google search rankings. It helps out with other people knowing that they’re established in Joplin. They have a place. They’re not going anywhere. It’s not a business ran out of their home.”

Bart Paden said they’ve learned from experience that success is about taking risks and understanding supply and demand.

Paden said, “If your idea is great in your eyes, but there’s not a lot of people interested in your product or service, it’s hard to make a go of it. So making sure you have a lot of people around you to help you identify it and you make sure that it’s the right idea to invest in is really important. And something that’s not talked about much.”

Once all the office spaces are leased to budding businesses, they’ll start renting desks with other amenities as well.

Johnson said, “They get access to internet mailing address in Joplin, in a business district in Joplin, and access to a conference room when they want to have meetings.”

Emily added, “My business has grown just because I’ve been able to serve people better.”

And Johnson said, “We’re still trying to help her cultivate her business so she can go out on her own. That’s the goal. Not to have keep her a leach and keep getting her dollars. We want to see her succeed and grow out of that space.” And they hope that successful businesses will then fill empty buildings in downtown Joplin.

There are three office spaces currently available. Midwestern can be reached at the following web locations. click here