The Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) in partnership with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is pleases to announce the kickoff of the BIG BAD BUSINESS SERIES!

This entrepreneur mentorship program will give North Mississippi artists, business owners, inventors, and startup enthusiasts an opportunity to develop their own sustainable businesses.  Through monthly workshops and action sessions, participants will learn from some of the region’s most successful business executives, get to innovate with local artists, and receive business coaching from local development experts.

The aim of the meetings are to develop entrepreneurship in the community, develop a mentoring program, and reach out to students, unemployed, and employed looking to associate with people of like interests in pursuing their desires to create their own business.

Upcoming events include:

January 28: Kickoff Reception at 9 a.m. at the Gertrude C. Ford Center in the Black Box Theatre
Come enjoy breakfast. learn more about the classes and workshops in this program, and meet the program mentors!

January 28: Creative Path: 9 a.m. at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center. Come enjoy breakfast. Learn more about the Mississippi Arts Commission from Diane Williams, director of grants. Ask questions, network, and connect with resources!

January 28TEDx Talks starting at 12 pm at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

February 13: Challenge Meeting at the Chamber of Commerce at 6 pm – Getting Started/How to Write a Business Plan, stages of a business, legal structure

Feb 10-11: Venture Launch Weekend – This annotated, accelerator-style event will allow you to develop an idea for a business or product venture and turn this idea into a real business model you can pitch to investors.

February 27: Oxford Artists’ Retreat at 6 pm at the Powerhouse. Come meet, network and learn how to navigate retail opportunities for artists.

Click here to register!

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Mission:  Networking, Support, Talent, Funding

  • To create business mentoring, curriculum, discussion, events, talent matching, and funding to move entrepreneurs from idea to profit.
  • To encourage local economic development in order to create stable, local jobs.
  • To reach innovative entrepreneurs interested in starting, buying, owning/operating, selling, growing a business, or anyone needing help with their existing business.


  • Entrepreneurs (business owners),
  • Mentors (anyone with experience starting, owning/operating a business and willing to mentor others, including retirees)
  • Talent (Workers, employees, students, contractors, consultants)
  • Funding (Traditional, Private, Seed, Angel, VC)

For more information on becoming a mentor or participating in the BIG BAD BUSINESS SERIES contact:  Allen Kurr, VP, Economic Development, The EDF, , 662-234-4651