Pilot Program to Boost Entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy of the city of Fort Wayne) (photo courtesy of the city of Fort Wayne)
FORT WAYNE -

A new pilot program aims to promote entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne. The Summit City Match program is being funded by the city and a grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) with support from several partners throughout the city. The effort aims to match emerging entrepreneurs with building spaces, startup technical assistance and gap grant opportunities with the goal of launching more small businesses and leasing vacant retail and commercial space along the city's South Calhoun commercial corridor.

The program is being administered by the city's Summit City Entrepreneurship & Enterprise District and Director Trois Hart says the program helps entrepreneurs connect to the resources they need. to become a small business or grow their existing small business.

"Women and people of color are often underconnected to business opportunities, so we have a special emphasis and outreach to individuals from those communities," said Hart. "We are working with entrepreneur organizations here in town. We are lining up technical experts that can give advice and counsel to these individuals and then the city itself is organizing the processes in a very complementary way that allows people to easily navigate a new business startup."

The city says the pilot program will initially focus on connecting businesses with vacant building space on a two-mile stretch of South Calhoun Street, just south of downtown Fort Wayne. Businesses that receive a match will have the opportunity to apply for gap funding to support their project investment.

Hart says they are piloting the effort with hopes of growing into other areas of the city.

"We are focusing in on that area because it's highly-integrated in different cultures and ethnicities and (has) a very international kind of feel to that stretch of South Calhoun," said Hart. "It's also starting to redevelop on its own from some of the investments made downtown, so it's on a tipping point and we believe that if we bring this program here at this time, it has a good opportunity to be successful as a pilot program."

The program hopes to fill six to eight vacant spaces and make grants for a minimum total of $200,000. The city says its plan is to leverage more than $500,000 in private investment from business and building owners.

The first set of building and business owner matches will be announced in August. Businesses selected for a match will be required to open on South Calhoun Street within one year of receiving a financial award and remain at the location for at least two years.

Hart says the program helps entrepreneurs connect to the resources they need to become a small business or grow their existing small business.
  • Perspectives

    • Baby Boomers Are Impacting the Building Industry

      There are currently 78 million baby boomers in the U.S., making up 25% of the population and controlling 67% ($28 trillion) of the country’s wealth, according to the Living In Place Institute. AARP says 90% of people surveyed want to remain as long as possible in their homes. The majority of those 65 and older remodel their home to make it safer and accessible. In fact, 45% of all remodeling work is being done for people over the age of 65. With this amount of data supporting...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Hub & Spoke Aims to Fuel 'Purpose and Passion'

      The co-founder of a $16 million mixed-use development in Fishers says the project aims to have the biggest social impact possible. Officials broke ground Tuesday on Hub & Spoke, which will include a design center, coworking space and makerspace when completed. David Decker says the project is the first of its kind in the nation and seeks to help people find their purpose and passion and tie that into their vocation. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter...

    • (Photo Courtesy: Roche Diagnostics)

      Roche VP on List of Influential Women Executives

      An executive with Roche Diagnostics has joined an exclusive list of prominent and influential women, including Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.  Cindy Carlisle, Vice President of Human Resources at Roche Indy, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America. 

    • The facility could be build within the River Ridge Commerce Center.

      Jeffersonville Being Considered for CBD Plant

      California-based Layn USA could soon establish operations in southern Indiana. One Southern Indiana, the economic development organization and chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd counties, says the company has signed a purchase and sales agreement with the River Ridge Development Authority for a proposed $52 million CBD manufacturing facility. The project, the company says, would have the capacity to process a minimum of 5,000 tons of hemp biomass each year. As part of the...

    • Rendering courtesy of Two EEs Winery

      Two-EE's Winery to Adopt New Age Policy

      Two-EE's Winery in Huntington has announced it will adopt a new age policy begining in August. Our partners at WPTA-TV report the winery will no longer allow people aged under 21 to visit the establishment due to ongoing problems with unsupervised or misbehaving children. 

    • New Mixed-Use Development Planned for Fishers

      A new mixed-use development is coming to Fishers. Thompson Thrift Retail Group has announced the development of The Station, an office building that is part of an overall project that includes a 150-room hotel, a future retail pad along 116th Street and nearly 40 3-story townhomes.