Entrepreneurship Holds Steady During Recession

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COLUMBIA - Anthonwell Linzie always considered owning his own business. But he didn't expect it to be a women's clothing store. Linzie and his sister, Crystal, recently opened Exclusive Closet, a clothing boutique on Rangeline Street.

"We got started from going on vacation," Linzie said. "My family members that were out in Los Angeles... they knew people that were in the [fashion] industry."

University of Missouri researchers have found that in recent years the number of Americans engaging in entrepreneurship has risen significantly. The study noted an increase in entrepreneurship among African-Americans, and also found that rural entrepreneurship levels have not decreased during the recession.

"If you build on the assets of these local areas, entrepreneurs will see new markets, new niches, and offer new economic opportunity," MU Professor Brian Dabson said.

Linzie said he has created his own economic opportunity by focusing on service.

"I've learned a lot about customer service," "We want clients, not customers. Our whole business concept is based around service."

For now, Linzie hopes his dedication to customer service earns Exclusive Closet one customer at a time.