San Juan Ridge entrepreneurship forum in Jan. |

San Juan Ridge entrepreneurship forum in Jan.

Submitted to The Union

This old building is in downtown North San Juan. An event will be held in January to explore the economic and social advantages that developing new businesses can bring to the San Juan Ridge.

The San Juan Ridge business community plans to hold an event to explore the economic and social advantages that growing new, independent local businesses bring to the rural Nevada County community.

The early January event, called Building Economic Resiliency: The Next Wave of Entrepreneurship on the Ridge, will feature a look at how other communities are navigating similar changing economic landscapes, a panel discussion celebrating innovative entrepreneurship, a community forum supporting and inspiring the next wave of entrepreneurship on the Ridge and will offer an opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions and share ideas.

Moderated and produced by Robert Trent, a cofounder of the business-incubating nonprofit Sierra Commons, the free event aims to draw the attention of established and new business owners and people from the manufacturing, cottage industry and agricultural sectors.

"The motivation behind the event is to help the Ridge community move through a significant economic transition while building a stronger and more resilient local economy," Trent said.

A highlight of the evening will include a moderated panel discussion featuring successful San Jan Ridge entrepreneurs, including Sagi Seagel of Sunlight Botanicals, Lars Ortegren of California Solar Electric Company, Pat Leach of RCD Engineering, John Tecklin of Mountain Bounty Farm and Samantha Hinrichs of Mud and Pearls.

"Building locally owned businesses is an opportunity for our community to invest … in what we hold sacred, creating a world and economy we want to inhabit. And by 'invest,' I mean, put our energy into something we build, that provides for us over time," said Ortegren, whose solar company is sponsoring the event.

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"Due to the relative geographic isolation of the Ridge, neighbors already rely on one another for many simple needs, i.e., borrowing a stick of butter and traditional barn raising," Ortegren said. "With such a strong sense of community, expanding the network of locally owned businesses is the next logical step in strengthening an already vibrant local economy."

For additional information or to register, visit or call 530-377-6495.

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