Page 26 - Scene Magazine 43-03 March 2018
P. 26

 Local Business Scene
Supporting Entrepreneurs with the ESO Network
   The staff of the Small Business De- velopment Fund supports the City of Battle Creek with small business development ser- vices and programs customized to best
meet the needs of individual business owners. In order to efficiently and effec- tively serve the needs of businesses at all stages of development, the team has launched an Entrepreneur Support Orga- nization (ESO) Network to include local and regional organizations that support entrepreneurs and small businesses in- cluding Generation E Institute (GenEI) and the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce (Chamber). “The beauty of the ESO Network is the continual refer- ral process to manage the pipeline of en- trepreneurs while leveraging resources to support their growth,” noted Valerie
Byrnes, business development and re- tention manager. “Our partners focus on areas that supplement the work we do and vice versa,” she added.
Speaking of an entrepreneur pipeline, the local efforts of Battle Creek-based non-profit organization, GenEI, are to empower local youth with skills and knowledge that can benefit students to be job ready and entrepreneurial-mind- ed. GenEI is recognized across the state and nation as a resource for youth entre- preneurship having reached over 24,000 students over the past 12 years. Their results indicate success that inspires and guides creative thinking and is support- ed by data showing that entrepreneurial education also prepares students to com- pete in tomorrow’s economy. Research commissioned by the National Foun- dation for Teaching Entrepreneurship found the following results when youth participated in entrepreneurship pro- grams:
• Interest in attending college increased 32 percent.
• Occupational aspirations increased 44 percent.
• Independent reading increased 4 percent.
• Leadership behavior increased 8.5 percent.
• Belief that attaining one’s goals is within one’s control increased.
The Chamber prepares youth for em- ployment through relevant work expe- rience as interns. As part of the Small Business Action Team of the BC Vision, the Chamber facilitates intern placement at businesses and non-profit agencies across the city. Providing students with practical applications of knowledge pro- vides an opportunity for students to grow problem solving skills and develop inter- personal skill sets sought by employers.
The Small Busi- ness Development team leverages the time and talents of an enterprising student of St. Phil- ip Catholic Cen- tral High School through the Cham- ber program. Senior
Lilianna Robinson is a member of Student Council, an avid athlete on the basketball, soccer, and tennis teams, and a member of Interact Club. Lili’s role is to collect data through research, compile information, and standardize the collection process. Her work assists our team to better under- stand our business base. In turn, Lili gains experience through team-based interac- tion improving communication and or- ganizational skills. “I am benefiting from the work by gaining hands-on experience. I enjoy learning more about what it takes to be in business,” stated Lilianna.
“The intent is to inspire Lili to keep “Believing in Battle Creek” as she pre- pares to find the career of her dreams,” Byrnes noted.
The Small Business Development Fund is a team of professionals supporting the City of Battle Creek’s mission to grow and strengthen local small business. Please email smallbusinessinfo@ with inquiries.
   Lilianna Robinson
Small Business Development Fund - City of Battle Creek
269-966-3355 ext. 1191 | 34 WEST JACKSON STREET, SUITE 3B
          Search Engine 101
April 16, 2018, 12-1pm
Presenter: Sara Dunn, 11 Web
EVENTS @ Michigan Tile & Carpet 99 E. Columbia Avenue
A Solid Marketing Plan Foundation
May 7, 2018, 12-1pm Presenter: Kari Davis, Gapp Media
FREE to Chamber Members!
PLEASE NOTE Schedule Changes Dates and topics have been adjusted
 Hosted by Small Business Development Fund in partnership with Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, email

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