Efforts Led by Indy Chamber Target Entrepreneurs

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(Image courtesy of the Indy Chamber) (Image courtesy of the Indy Chamber)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Indy Chamber continues to boost its focus on entrepreneurship. The organization, which represents some 2,000 businesses in central Indiana, has announced the launch of The Resource Navigator, a web directory of free or low-cost resources for businesses, and a new, local chapter of the Kauffman Foundation's 1 Million Cups initiative. Vice President of Entrepreneur Services Carrie Henderson says the chamber covers businesses that range in size from pre-venture to existing companies and often serves as a "sounding board."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Henderson says entrepreneurs call on the chamber for a variety of reasons. The typical requests, she says, include discussions about sources and tracking of funding, profitablity and problem solving. "A lot of the business owners we talk to are very passionate about what they do. They're very capable," Henderson says. "They know what they're doing from a technical standpoint and are very passionate about that, but sometimes its the back-end administrative or the accounting or the finance piece that really trips up a lot of business owners -- not everybody, but a lot." The chamber offers business coaching, training and microlending services to help young businesses down the right path.

The chamber says the Resource Navigator is only the beginning of plans to serve as a "one-stop" business growth and services portal. It includes tools for business plan development, market analysis and strategy, technical assistance in operations, financial management, educational opportunities and financing. You can connect to the navigator by clicking here.

The 1 Million Cups chapter held its first meeting Wednesday at The Speak East in Indianapolis. The program involves pitches from early-stage startups to an audience made up of peers, mentors, educators and advisors who provide feedback on ways to improve. You can find out more about the new chapter by clicking here.

Chamber President Michael Huber says "both the Resource Navigator and 1 Million Cups capture Indy's entrepreneurial momentum and seek to organize it to make a stronger impact on the local employers that create 80 percent of all new jobs in our region. Whether it's online or in-person, consulting with a coach or sharing with a group of like-minded business owners, we’re creating avenues for Indianapolis companies to get to the next level."

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