April 5 – 9, 2021

The Center for Entrepreneurship will host five free workshops for entrepreneurs. This is free and open to the community. Seating is limited, and registration is required. Missouri Western State University is still closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization and supports nationwide efforts to help keep our communities safe. 

All businesses are very important to our community and region. As always, the Center for Entrepreneurship is here to help you in any way we can.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance.  

Entrepreneurship Week Awards

2020 E-Week Award Winners

Joe Freudenthal, Entrepreneur of the Year

As president and owner of Freudenthal Home-Based Healthcare in St. Joseph, Joe Freudenthal is filling an important need in the community. He opened Vintage Park in 2000, expanding that business before selling it to focus on in-home care. He recently added Freudenthal Hospice in an effort to provide a complete continuum of care at home.

Joe is a great community supporter, serving on several boards and providing sponsorships to worthwhile activities and organizations. He also offers the Freudenthal Fit Club, free exercise classes in the community, and the not-for-profit Freudenthal Center for Parkinson’s Disease.

His nominator said he is a great employer: “He has the gift of empowerment and he is constantly encouraging. He lets staff know what qualities and talents he sees in them.”

“He has created a family-like atmosphere where staff truly care for each other,” his nominator continued. “His drive and passion are contagious. Daily he changes lives.”

Austin Evans, Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

Fitness is a passion for Austin Evans, and his entrepreneurial spirit followed that passion. Four years ago, Austin opened Fit Republic, a supplement retail store. Then, realizing a need in the community for fresh-cooked, healthy meals, he opened the Lean Kitchen Company in the same space. Additionally, he offers Lean Kitchen Company to franchisees, and there are now 16 Lean Kitchen locations in several communities.
“Austin has no limits,” said one nominator. “He sacrifices a lot to be successful. The main focus for him is ‘how can we continue to grow so we can help more people?’”

 Austin is an active community partner, sponsoring several fitness events and working closely with other entrepreneurs. He also recently purchased Kris & Kates, the iconic bright pink ice cream cone on the North Belt Highway in St. Joseph.

 “He puts in the work – days, nights and weekends,” said a second nominator. “He knows how to prioritize and delegate to get the job done.”

2021 Award Nominations

Entrepreneur of the Year

Do you know of a successful entrepreneur? One that you admire and hold in esteem? Have they shown experience in starting, growing, and/or expanding a successful business? Have they been in business for five years or more? Do they give back to the community? If so, we would love for you to nominate them for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Nominate an Entrepreneur

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

This is for those entrepreneurs that have been in business five years or less. This is to highlight those entrepreneurs that are showing innovation and has the potential for impact on our community.

Nominate an Entrepreneur

Past Award Winners

Entrepreneur of the Year

2020 – Joe Freudenthal

2019 – Mike Dragoo

2018 – Scott Gann

2017 – Bob Wollenman

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

2020 – Austin Evans

2019 – Alyson Fisher

2018 – Scott Bratton

2017 – Jason Chase