WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In just one week from October 3, 2023, officials with i.d.e.a. W.F. will name their business winner.

This program started around 13 years ago and has slowly grown into a huge entrepreneurship venture.

“Entrepreneurship is such a big deal in Wichita Falls,” i.d.e.a. W.F. coordinator Jeannie Hilbers said. “Small business is such a big deal. What can we do to help that? What can we do to help small businesses, either startups or people that are wanting to expand their business?”

The Dillard College of Business at Midwestern State University answered those questions through the creation of i.d.e.a. W.F., a program that helps small businesses.

What began as a business plan competition soon morphed into multi-tiered business classes.

“It really was just a business plan competition, but now we offer the education classes as well,” said Hilbers. “So it’s really turned into more of a how to run your own business, and we feel like that’s really valuable because people have their own skill set.”

The program teaches those how to work on their business, create accurate spreadsheets and data projections, and ensure businesses grow.

I.d.e.a. W.F. is a nonprofit, but they are able to donate what they do for businesses because of the support from other community members.

“It’s all given by donations from the community,” said Hilbers. “So it’s your local bankers, it’s your CPAs, it’s some attorneys, it’s real estate people. It’s just people who support entrepreneurship.”

Hilbers mentioned the program also allows for the community to grow with sales tax benefits and an increase in the workforce.

For tickets to the event next week and more information on the finalists, click here.