August 13, 2018 ADRIAN — As Launch Lenawee gets closer to opening this fall, its planners are looking for more community partners to help and people with business ideas that need some assistance.
Leading up to the fall opening, Mark and Mary Murray, organizers of Launch Lenawee and owners of the Adrian Armory Events Center, where the program will be based, have begun hosting meetings to talk about Launch, how it will work for those participating in it and how those interested can help.
Launch is being built on four pillars: business training, micro loans, mentors and networking. At the core it’s a small business development incubator. Mark Murray said the Armory will act as the front door for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners to come inside and learn how to create, establish and grow an idea into a successful business.
Right now, he said they hope to spread the word to generate more interest. He said they are looking for anyone with a small business idea that is serious and ready to make it a reality. At a meeting Tuesday, Mary Murray said her husband’s passion for what they are trying to achieve at the Armory has rubbed off on her, especially his hopes for Launch. She said at heart her true passion is as an educator and she believes Launch fits in with what she loves most.
The program will be six months and will include sitting down with a Launch representative for a needs assessment so a development plan can begin to take shape; working with a mentor; attending one education session a month to learn the core aspects to small businesses; attending some networking events; committing to the program by paying a small fee of about $30 per month; and learning about the various resources available to help in the business development.
Both said there are many in the community with ideas but they just need some help and guidance. Mary Murray said all in the community can participate, and gave a nod to minorities and women. She said developing new businesses is the goal, so good ideas and commitment are the only requirements.
Mark Murray said Launch is not duplicating other resources and programs, but rather wants to work and partner with them in an effort to see them even more utilized for their goals.
Current partners include such organizations as the Adrian Area Chamber, the Adrian Rotary clubs, Adrian College, Jackson College, Siena Heights University, Lenawee Now, Visit Lenawee, Michigan Small Business Development Center and Michigan SCORE. He said they are looking for any and all resources and partners wanting to be part of the process.
For more on the program, Launch is having two upcoming meetings: 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, and 4 p.m. Aug. 29. If a community member would like a presentation from Mary and Mark on the launch of the training program, which will start the first week of October, contact them at LaunchLenawee@gmail.com. The website www.launchlenawee.org will soon be up.
By Lonnie Huhman
Daily Telegram Staff Writer