Advocating for local entrepreneurship
Last week I talked in depth about the importance of buying produce and meats from local farmers and by doing this, we are supporting our friends and neighbors while boosting the local economy. Local business owners move the community and state’s economy in the right direction. With that being said, I would like to share with you about an initiative I recently learned of that is aimed to encourage local entrepreneurship in Indiana. The Community Entrepreneurship Initiative is an effort to connect local economic developers and entrepreneurs to various services.
The Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) will partner together for this free program which will provide consulting to community economic development leaders, elected officials and those interested in working to grow and retain entrepreneurship. As a former small business owner myself, I know the importance of having access to resources like this in order to help business flourish even more.
By providing tactical training in regards to entrepreneurial-based strategy planning, the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) will be able to provide measureable next steps for communities based on their vision. All of these plans will be organized into written reports with associated timelines so communities know when to reach which milestone in relation to their economic growth.
What I really like about this program is that even after the initial planning, and after guidelines are set, the ISBDC will still be available to provide ongoing consulting with communities. While having a plan and goals are important, having access to additional support, in case of a roadblock, is vital for success.
In addition to planning, the ISBDC will provide assistance when communities perform their self- assessment. The self-assessment will give economic developers in the region an idea of economic gaps in their area while giving these leaders an idea of how to improve the local business environment. The ISBDC, in conjunction with the local OCRA liaison, will also provide training opportunities for community leaders with the intention of building community support for local entrepreneurs.
From Huntingburg to Tell City, French Lick and everywhere in between, District 74 can prosper even more with the help of this program. I encourage local leaders to consider joining this program. The application is very simple: you just need a phone number, email and some entrepreneurship initiatives that are occurring in your community. For more information on the Community Entrepreneurship Initiative or to apply for this program, please visit http://isbdc.org/cei/.