hub for entrepreneurs
hub for entrepreneurs
Our education and economic initiatives promote and encourage business ownership by assisting in the launch of entrepreneurial ventures and support start-up to scale-up businesses that create jobs, improve the quality of life, and strengthen the community in Indianapolis’ Near West and central Indiana.
In 2016, Local Initiatives Support Corporate (LISC) designated the Near West/River West a Great Place 2020 neighborhood. The Near West Quality of Life Plan was created by residents and neighborhood stakeholders in response to declining employment and business vacancies in Near West. The Steering Committee identified the need for an entrepreneurship center to serve as a catalyst for economic growth, and SOURCE RW was created to fill that need.
The IUPUI Office of Community Engagement supports the Near West Quality of Life Plan and River West Great Place on behalf of Indiana University by serving as fiscal agent to support the launch of SOURCE RW during the first two years of development. IUPUI provides staffing, planning support, grant management, and funding assistance.
Local businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to capitalize on the Near West’s commercial, retail, and light industrial spaces.
Small business owners who desire to improve and scale their existing businesses.
New businesses and Near West residents who wish to launch their own businesses in River West and/or surrounding areas.
Al Talison, Owner, Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc.
Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Al Talison, owner of Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc. which has been in operation since 1982.
What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefited?
At SOURCE RW I'm presently working with a Business Coach and have met with the Executive Director to discuss business development. It’s been working well. We have been spending time with my business finances which has always been a weakness for me. I’m also participating in SOURCE RW's business ownership series which I have found very beneficial.
What made you interested in business ownership?
I had never given thought to owning a business. But a friend--a mentor--told me that if I spent as much time in developing my own business as I spent in sales (in the late 70's-in Chicago) that I would probably be successful. I immediately started considering what type of business to open.
What have you enjoyed most about business ownership?
The joy of servicing a customer's needs, in the area of our expertise, and having them elated at the results. I have always appreciated the joy and freedom of determining my own destiny as a business owner.
What have you enjoyed least about business ownership?
I can't think of any negatives to owning my own business – at least not at this point.
Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?
Yes, only after I had down-sized the business, about 12 years ago, and I was doing all the work myself. It's pretty physical work and I was getting a little burnt-out. When the business was big and growing I never considered quitting.
Was there ever a point when you realized you had “made it”?
Yes, in the early 2000's we had large robust clients that we were servicing, and we continued to grow. But one by one we started to loose accounts--through no fault of our own--losing about 70% of our business, and I had to consider down-sizing. I really did have a few very large accounts that made up a majority of the business.
If you could tell aspiring business just one thing before their journey – that you had wished you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?
The importance of consulting with an accountant, attorney, and business consultant -- all of the A-B-C's must be followed to ensure success.
SOURCE River West and the Immigrant Welcome Center are working together to provide entrepreneurship education to immigrants who now call Indianapolis their home.
Here in the Near West, an estimated 12% of the population was born somewhere other than the United States. While their reasons for coming here are diverse, one desire unites all of us: To live a good life full of opportunity. Together, SOURCE RW and the Immigrant Welcome Center will provide education for Indy’s immigrants about the potential and opportunity of business ownership.
On Tuesday, July 12th from 6-7:30pm, SOURCE RW will be presenting our Business Trends workshop at the Hawthorne Community Center, complete with a Spanish language interpreter onsite. This workshop is free and open to the public so please plan to join us!
This workshop will be part of the Immigrant Welcome Center’s Reuben Education Series, which offers free monthly programs covering helpful topics for immigrants. This presentation of Business Trends is geared towards exploring the idea of starting a business, looking at potential profit models, business structures, and more. We are very excited to be able to offer this workshop to our city’s immigrant population alongside native English speakers, and with a Spanish translator present. The Immigrant Welcome Center is always happy to see immigrants, those who work with immigrant populations, and those who have an interest in immigrant-related topics and we are happy to see all aspiring entrepreneurs!
If you have ever thought you might be interested in starting your own business, come over to the Hawthorne Community Center for this unique presentation and learn alongside other aspiring entrepreneurs in your own community.
We hope to see you at Hawthorne Community Center, 2440 W. Ohio St., 46222. For more information about the Business Trends workshop with Spanish Translator available click here.
Do you want to launch or scale your business?
One-on-one coaching and mentoring is available to provide technical assistance in identifying a viable business model, incorporating a business, creating a business plan and marketing products/services. Most all educational opportunities are either free or at minimal fee.
Monthly business start-up courses on a business owner’s mindset and fund sourcing, quarterly courses on business trends and best practices for existing businesses, and our annual Kauffman Business Ownership Education Series provides a strong foundation.
We encourage entrepreneurship within our neighborhoods and attempt to inspire new, successful businesses to set-up and hire from within the neighborhoods of Indianapolis' Near West. Making the most of the River West Business District.
Phone: (317) 737-2155
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm