Entrepreneurial growth and business development are highlights of the upcoming community event entitled the 2019 State of Entrepreneurship in Lenawee County. Hosted by the Adrian Armory Community Center and Launch Lenawee, the networking event and program are planned for Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 4-6 pm at the Adrian Armory.
Co-sponsors and presenters during the event include the Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce, Tecumseh Area Chamber of Commerce, Lenawee Now, the City of Adrian and the City of Tecumseh, as well as others. They will provide a brief update of economic and program updates.
The event will allow local leaders to collaborate in an asset mapping process to benefit local entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
“Development of the asset map will be used as a tool for aspiring and existing business owners to readily navigate the local resource maze in Lenawee County to find the expertise required, along with key contact information, to complete the valuable business connections needed during the start-up phases of a business,” said Jessica Sattler, City of Tecumseh Economic Development Director.
The public is invited to participate in this opportunity to socialize and network with other businesses and organizations from throughout Lenawee County, enjoy some refreshments, and hear about future projects.
The event will also include graduation of the students from the inaugural class of Launch Lenawee, introducing their businesses to the community.
“Our first class of Launch Lenawee began last fall, with a very intense eight-week classroom instruction using online Fasttrac training resources licensed through the Kauffman Foundation,” explained Mark Murray, co-founder of the Launch Lenawee program. “We partnered with Lenawee Now in presenting classroom materials and guiding the students through assignments that could be beneficial to many businesses in our community.”
Ongoing monthly mentoring and instructional sessions followed, guiding the entrepreneurs in further refining their business plans and introduction to necessary community resources for successful business development.
During the May 2nd event, the Launch Lenawee students will highlight portions of the instructional program, showcase business displays and interact personally with community advisors and attendees.
The entire Launch Lenawee program has focused on community collaboration with organizations, educational resources, and economic development entities throughout Lenawee County.
Candidates are being accepted for the next intake of Launch Lenawee and are invited to this meeting to learn more about the program. Online applications are accepted through the Launch Lenawee website.
Discovery meetings were held on August 15 and 29, 2018 at the Adrian Armory Events Center to explain the implementation phases of the Launch Lenawee program. Attendees heard a presentation about the history of “Launch” programs in other communities, as well as the history of some successful business owners in Adrian.
Discussions about the opportunity for collective community involvement centered around getting the word out in local networking groups. Those entrepreneurs who are in the research phases of starting a business, as well as small business owners who may need guidance for growing their business are going to benefit from the program. The presentation is summarized in the video below.
Candidates may register at any time; however the first intake session for the program will begin in October, 2018. Mentors, volunteers, and others may also be involved in helping make the program a success! See our online forms throughout the website if you are interested.
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