By Leslee Hill, Director, WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC) at NIIC Since 2007, the number of women-owned firms has grown at five times the national average, with 1,072 new women-owned […]
By Leslee Hill,
Director, WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC) at NIIC
Since 2007, the number of women-owned firms has grown at five times the national average, with 1,072 new women-owned firms starting every day,” according to CNBC.com. Also, women have started more businesses than men. Harvard Business Review states that 7% of Black women start or run new businesses daily. Northeast Indiana provides a lot of support to increase the likelihood that a woman-owned business will thrive beyond three years.
To help you navigate resources, here are some we work with at WEOC Women’s Business Center and Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC).
Resources to support you
Many organizations exist, offering programs to support business owners in our region. They can help you build a business plan, and some, like WEOC WBC and NIIC, support business owners throughout the life of their businesses. Here are some of them.
Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC)
Community Development Corporation of Northeast Indiana (CDC)
Indiana Small Business Development Center
Summit City Entrepreneur & Enterprise District (SEED)
Several co-working spaces are available across the region where small business owners can complete office tasks in the presence of other small business owners. This setting fosters networking and provides a budding business with a professional brand at a lower cost with more flexible terms than private office space.
Some coworking spaces for business owners to rent in our region include the following.
There is support for vertical markets in our region, including the food/restaurant industry, Main Street, and childcare, to name a few.
Commissary kitchens, such as Cook Spring Shared Kitchen and Beyond Able, provide commercial-grade kitchens where food service providers can safely and legally prepare, cook, and store food and equipment—without owning and maintaining the facility.
Main Street business support
Main Street programs, like those in Wabash and Churubusco, support downtown businesses to encourage economic growth in the area.
Farmers Markets, such as YLNI Farmers Market, and coalitions like Fort Wayne Food Trucks, are a great testing ground and have supported the launch of several businesses we know well today.
Across our region, childhood coalitions, like Early Childhood Alliance, support childcare providers through education, food programs, shared services programming, and more.
Access to Capital
Fortitude Fund is an excellent financial gifting option for small businesses.
Business owners seeking investors may consider Elevate Ventures or VisionTech Partners are Indiana-based investment options for businesses looking for investment.
Northeast Indiana offers many support options to small businesses of many industries. We want to see you succeed. Contact us at WEOC WBC for more information. https://niic.net/wbc/