Battle Creek Community Groups to Open Entrepreneur Office and Spur Startup Businesses

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Through a communitywide effort, entrepreneurs will have a dedicated office in Battle Creek to help launch new enterprises. Comprehensive assistance will be available from four partner organizations: Kellogg Community College, Generation E, SCORE (small business counselors) and Battle Creek Unlimited. The Entrepreneur Office will be located on the Kellogg Community College Campus in the Mawby Center, and entrepreneurs may visit in person for help to jumpstart their businesses.

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The Battle Creek community believes in fostering entrepreneurship. We have built a lot of momentum going into 2009. We will help Michigan diversify its economic base with a very business-friendly environment. This collaboration adds to that commitment

Through a communitywide effort, entrepreneurs will have a dedicated office in Battle Creek to help launch new enterprises. Comprehensive assistance will be available from four partner organizations: Kellogg Community College , Generation E, SCORE (small business counselors) and Battle Creek Unlimited.

The Entrepreneur Office will be located on the Kellogg Community College Campus in the Mawby Center, and entrepreneurs may visit in person for help to jumpstart their businesses.

Entrepreneurs will be able to conduct on-site business planning in the furnished office space, including wireless connections, desks and electrical outlets. Assistants will be on hand in the third floor office to provide information and get their businesses started.

"The Battle Creek community believes in fostering entrepreneurship. We have built a lot of momentum going into 2009. We will help Michigan diversify its economic base with a very business-friendly environment. This collaboration adds to that commitment," said Karl Dehn, President and CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited, the economic development organization that works with the City of Battle Creek.

Through the office, the four partner organizations will help entrepreneurs access several other existing initiatives, including:

  •     Virtual Incubator - Battle Creek Unlimited is launching an online resource center for entrepreneurs. The virtual incubator will offer an array of tools, links, resource contacts and information that will help entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas.
  •      Kellogg Community College's Entrepreneurial Certificate Program - The College provides affordable education and training to foster and develop entrepreneurial interest.
  •     Business Experts - The office will have a deep rolodex of business experts, professors, entrepreneurs and others to act as advisors, mentors and coaches for start-up businesses. Generation E and SCORE specialize in counseling and training.
  •     Battle Creek Self Employment Program - The city initiated the program to address poverty. It provides intensive and comprehensive training, counseling and mentoring to fledgling entrepreneurs.

"The Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce and our Foundation are proud to provide many services supporting our members and business interests. We look forward to collaborating in support of entrepreneurial development in our community," said, Kathleen L. Mechem, CEO and president of Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce.

The partner organizations are currently in the stage of linking all of its resources through the Entrepreneur Office.

"We look forward to further integrating the network of comprehensive entrepreneurship assistance that service all who are interested in starting or expanding a business or social enterprise," said Doug Woodard, co-director, Generation E.

"Entrepreneurism is and will continue to be a growing part of our economy. This joint venture is one of many community connections the College has made to promote a positive future for our communities and citizens," said Dr. G. Edward Haring, president, Kellogg Community College.

About Battle Creek Unlimited and bcVentures
Battle Creek Unlimited is the economic development organization that works with the City of Battle Creek to transform and diversify the Battle Creek economy, in part through developing Fort Custer Industrial Park. bcVentures is the group within Battle Creek Unlimited that focuses on accelerating development of technology businesses and is Battle Creek's start up company resource. bcVentures' expertise resides in computer software and services, aviation, and homeland security. From Funding sources to Federal, State and Local resources, bcVentures helps new and existing companies achieve their business goals. For more information, visit http://www.bcunlimited.org .

About Kellogg Community College
Founded in 1956, Kellogg Community College provides customized training services designed and delivered to area businesses and institutions and a wide range of lifelong learning programs or personal enrichment. Over the past several years, hundreds of small businesses have received specialized training for thousands of employees and dozens of small businesses and individuals through the College's customized training programs. It offers nearly 100 pre-professional college/university transfer curricula, approximately 40 occupational associate degree programs aimed toward job preparation, and related training for apprenticeships. The college is situation on several sites in Battle Creek, Albion, Coldwater, Hastings and Fort Custer Industrial Park. For more information, visit http://www.kellogg.edu .

About SCORE
Since 1964, SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" has helped more than 8 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors in 389 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE on the Web at http://www.score.org or http://www.score.org/women .

About Generation E Institute
GenEI trains educators from a variety of settings to teach entrepreneurship to their students. Educators are trained in a two-day session, usually in their own community, to utilize a comprehensive educator-friendly curricula and apply it to their setting. It also partners with community economic development organizations and others representing a community-wide approach to economic development and education. For more information, visit http://www.genei.org .

Contact:
Julie Metea, MessageCoach Public Relations , 313-320-3937
Sonja Dotson, bcVentures Marketing, 269-962-7526

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Julie Metea

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Sonja Dotson

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