The state of Indiana is launching an effort designed to spark entrepreneurship in small and rural communities. Organizers say the Community Entrepreneurship Initiative will help connect participants to services including accounting and legal assistance as well as benefits such as discounted leases and broadband access. It will also involve providing smaller communities with strategic consulting aimed at improving their entrepreneurial environments. In an interview to air on Inside INdiana Business Television, Office of Community and Rural Affairs Project Development Manager Geoff Schomacker and Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Executive Director Jacob Schpok discuss the initiative.

May 9, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann today announced that the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) is partnering with the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to establish the Community Entrepreneurship Initiative (CEI). CEI will assist communities in growing and retaining entrepreneurial talent.

“This partnership between OSBE and OCRA is creating a new way to grow entrepreneurship throughout Indiana,” said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. “The CEI is a perfect complement to the work of our OCRA staff and grant programs that strengthen small and rural communities. We want successful entrepreneurs to create jobs and new economic growth from Winamac to Worthington and communities like them in all parts of the state.”

CEI provides consulting services and training for community economic development leaders, elected officials, and citizens interested in forging local initiatives to grow and retain entrepreneurs. The CEI staff will help develop plans with measureable steps in cultivating a more vibrant and innovative entrepreneurial community.

“CEI will assist communities in identifying gaps and strategies to improve their entrepreneurial environment. Strategic consulting will be provided by OSBE business advisors to support local leaders as they develop a shared vision to engage entrepreneurs,” said Jacob Schpok, Executive Director of OSBE. “History has shown, developing uniform strategies with local involvement for supporting entrepreneurs leads to greater community engagement and outcomes.”

“OCRA is excited to collaborate with OSBE and community leaders as we work to boost their entrepreneurial support networks,” said Bill Davis, Executive Director at OCRA. “CEI will be a valuable tool for all Indiana communities to strengthen their economies in the 21st century.”

To learn more about the initiative, visit

About OCRA

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann oversees the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. OCRA’s mission is to promote community prosperity to strengthen Indiana’s economy by providing capacity-building solutions to assure ready, marketable, and competitive communities for economic growth. For additional information on OCRA and its programs visit

About OSBE

Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) oversees the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and the Indiana Small Business Ombudsman. The OSBE staff helps grow the Indiana economy by assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses through programs and personal consultation. For more information on OSBE and to see how Indiana is ‘the state that works’ for entrepreneurs visit

Source: Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

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