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.
Entrepreneurship Indianapolis (E Indy) is a monthly, free series of standalone discussions addressing business ownership from concept, to start-up, to scaling a business.
The Entrepreneurship Indianapolis Discussion Series (E Indy) begins its second season in August. Our popular series combines the stories of local entrepreneurs’ journeys into business ownership with basic business education. Each session, we identify the trending businesses ideas, new business fundamentals and pertinent business struggles the entrepreneur addressed.
Workshops are scheduled 6:30pm - 8pm on the second Tuesday of the month at SOURCE River West. Featured guest speakers join the discussion to share their first-hand perspectives.
Having your product or service “stand out” in the market is more challenging than ever.
Join us on Tuesday, Nov 13 to learn more from Mel McMahon-Stone. Mel’s passion is to encourage local preference and facilitate greater use of local businesses, services, art, food, etc. As the co-founder of Indiana Originals, she assists local entrepreneurs in getting their products, businesses, and services in front of customers with a local preference. Mel will be discussing her experiences in taking services/products to market, how she identifies the value proposition of a company, and how to make the most of your marketing dollar.
Ever consider purchasing a franchise business? Well, it's not all burgers and fries. Here is your opportunity to ask a local franchisee about their start-up journey and what "success" means to them? Join us on Tuesday, October 9 to learn about owning a franchise from Bill Higgins. Bill is owner of Hoodz Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning. During this session of Entrepreneurship Indianapolis, he will be discussing his experience leaving his corporate job of approximately 2 years to become a business owner.
Selecting the Right Encore Career for You
October 9, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Presenter: Bill Higgins, Hoodz
Going to Market and Promoting Your Business
November 13, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Presenter: Mel McMahon Stone, Indiana Originals
Identifying a “Best Fit” Business Mentor
December 11, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Frank Davis, Circle City Rebar
Al Talison, Owner, Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc.
Chaunda Fabio, Founder of Creative Custom Crafts
Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Chaunda Fabio, Founder of Creative Custom Crafts.
What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefited?
Actually, I utilized them all. I love the Kauffman and Business Track. Both are amazing because when a lot of people go into business, they start off in the dark. It was really great to have the option to sit down and go through each detail from everything like trade, marketing and supplying, to knowing how to research your competition. It really helps to give you a clearer path on not only how your business needs to be structured, but how you can actually increase your chances of having a successful business.
What made you interested in being a business owner?
To be completely honest I got into business by accident. Literally, I am a Minister and I had a very dark time in my life. I was coming out of a horrible divorce and I remember asking God to make me whole. With that being said, I had a ministry conference called “Be Made Whole” and I am a crafter, so for fun I just made T-shirts for my volunteers. The t-shirts didn’t really sell, volunteers didn’t show, and the meeting didn’t go as well as I planned. However, the next week I was attending an event and I was supposed to help someone with their vending table but at the last minute they couldn’t get their product. They suggested that I sell my shirts at their vending table. At that event I actually sold out, so I had to make more and that’s how I ended up in business.
What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?
What I enjoy most is when I am in situations and I provide a service without being the person they were shopping for. Here is an example. I was at a wedding this last weekend, no plus one, and I was talking to a lady at the table and she was talking about her women’s conference. While she was talking I just got on my iPad and brought up some things for her. She said, “That’s exactly what I was thinking!” Then I told her that I have a shirt business and can do the T-shirts, make canvases, and coasters. She said, “Are you serious?” I love not necessarily needing to sell myself, but just having a product and a service that people need and being able to offer it.
What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?
Being in business while I am still working a 9-to-5 job. My 9-to-5 I actually love. Most people hate their job, but I love what I do. I am an educator by profession, but I am an entrepreneur by passion. Sometimes it is just hard balancing both. I work with children with exceptionalities, and I always say I’m going to leave, but I love it so I won’t. But yet I have to find time to balance the business. What I have learned is that it is amazing for kids to do a canvas art project. So I have actually been able to incorporate my passion into my 9-to-5 but marketing my business separately has been hard.
Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?
Nope, I’m not there yet. I’m still trying to get started.
Was there ever a point where you realized you had “made it”?
Yeah, at my first actual business event - that I wasn’t even supposed to be at - I sold out. I think that’s making it. That’s success.
If you could tell aspiring business owners just one thing before their journey – that you wish you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?
The one thing I tell everybody is to use the resources at SOURCE River West. All of the time, people will tell them “don’t quit” or “you’ll have bad days,” but the real reason people feel like quitting and giving up is they don’t have the knowledge or support they need. If you are someone starting out right now, there is a wonderful organization who will give you training and the tools necessary for your business to succeed and thrive. SOURCE River West!
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