If hopeful businesses owners ever thought about starting or expanding their business but just didn’t know where or how to start, there’s a competition that could build the brand.
This is year 10 for the competition just starting up. It’s helped several businesses get to where they are Friday. Including two businesses owners who said i.d.e.a. WF proved crucial in their success.
Officially, Gary Keeney has been running Keeno’s Beef Jerky since 2013, but he started selling jerky a few years before that while working for a major computer company.
“I went door to door for a couple years, trying to see if this would actually fly,” Keeney said.
Similarly, besides working in the oil business, The Burn Shop owner Keith Wineinger explained where the idea for his other job came from.
“I was playing around with metal in the garage, doing this, doing that. And I kind of came to the realization that I need to make some more money,” Wineinger said.
Both men then learned about i.d.e.a. WF and went on to win the competition, which they say has benefited their businesses tremedously.
“You’re getting feedback along the way. The feedback is crucial. Their feedback was crucial in our success,” Wineinger said.
“We were awfully happy they gave us a little bit of money in the bank in order to put this thing together,” Keeney.
With their success, both businesses are now able to give back. Keeno’s is raising money and awareness for Christian Youth Ministries and The Burn Shop just starting a contest, giving away a sign to a non-profit.
I.d.e.a. WF program director Scott Manley said examples like Keeno’s and The Burn Shop are exactly what the community needs more of.
“Everybody realizes that small businesses are the heart and soul of America’s economy. So, growing your own business is just a natural economic development strategy,” Manley said.