Framing questions and finding data with SAVI

Where can I access market research?

Join us on Thurs., February 14, 2019 | Noon - 1 p.m. | $15 course fee


How do you know if your business idea or scale-up plan will work? Is there a demand for your services or products, and who are your customers and competitors?

If you’re thinking of starting a business, testing products, or scaling-up to offer more services or products, performing market research is one of the most important first steps. Market research refers to using relevant data to make an informed decision. It is the best way to understand your target audience and to gain in-depth knowledge before you launch.

It can be overwhelming to consider all the factors that go into making such an important decision, but there are tools available to help – and some are free. SOURCE can help you get started with your market research! Join us on Thursday, February 14th from Noon-1pm for Framing Questions and Finding Data with SAVI to learn how to put SAVI to use to further your business!  

SAVI is an online, highly searchable database that uses web applications to put data into context, making it easier to interpret and use. You’ll be able to search specific communities and broad areas to gather data and help you decide if your business is supported by the community.  

This workshop will be a “Lunch and Learn” so please bring a sack lunch to enjoy during the presentation! To learn more or register, visit our website!

SOURCE RW Entrepreneur Spotlight

Britteny Davidson, Owner of KurlyKoils


Every month, we shine a Spotlight on a hardworking entrepreneur who has taken advantage of SOURCE RW’s educational resources. This month, we feature Britteny Davidson, Owner of KurlyKoils.  

“The satisfaction of being your own boss will be your driving force through the tough times.” – Britteny Davidson 

Business Website:

Business Facebook: Kurlykoils


Tell us a little about your business.

My business helps women, men and children embrace their natural curly hair with expert cutting, coloring and product recommendations based on their hair type and curl pattern.

What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefitted?

I have taken the Business Owners Series. This class really helped me understand marketing, cash flow, and cash projections. 

What made you interested in being a business owner?

I got laid off from my job of 6 years in 2016 and wanted to put my destiny in my own hands by becoming an entrepreneur.  

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

I have enjoyed learning about being a business owner and running a business. I didn’t realize that there are intricate things businesses owners are doing. I also enjoy the self-development that has taken place in my life because of this lifestyle change.  

What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?

I think the part I like the least is the hours you must put in. Even in my free time, my mind is constantly thinking about things I can be doing to improve my business. The agony is well worth it!! 

Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?

No way! Either I will work hard for myself growing my own company or work for someone else, growing their company! 

Was there ever a point where you realized you had “made it”?

I think I will feel like I have “made it” when I am paying employees and when Kurlykoils is not renting a space.

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 it be?

There will be some good days and some bad days. Most business owners don’t survive their first couple of years in business. Keep pushing! The satisfaction of being your own boss will be your driving force through the tough times!

River West Works – Open for Your Business!

Affordable co-working space on Indy’s Near West side

River West Works Building.jpg

If your business is outgrowing your home office and you’re seeking affordable office space, check out the newly opened River West Works! 

Located on the Near West side, conveniently next door to the SOURCE RW office, River West Works offers truly affordable office space and amenities to entrepreneurs looking to start-up or scale-up their businesses. These entrepreneurs could be: 

  • Westside residents in need of office space

  • SOURCE River West program graduates

  • Woman/Minority owned start-ups

  • Individuals facing barriers including social, financial, gender, racial, etc. 

This space features amenities such as: 

  • Conference room

  • Coffee Bar

  • Mailboxes

  • 24 hour access, 7 Days/Week

To learn more about how to reserve your office space with River West Works, visit their website!

Meeting Space For Rent – Near Downtown and Free Parking

Rent SOURCE RW’s Space for your event

Rent for Meeting Space.jpg

SOURCE RW is available to rent for meetings and events. A short drive from downtown on Michigan Street, SOURCE RW boasts a convenient location, free street parking, tables, chairs, and a kitchenette with coffee service available. 

If you would like more information, or to schedule a time to see the space, please call (317) 737-2155 or email

A message to our Friends, Partners, and Neighbors

Thank you! What you can expect in 2019.

Pitch Fest June, 2018

Pitch Fest June, 2018

As 2018 winds down, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and to thank our partners, funders, clients, and the Near West neighborhoods for your continued support. Because of you, SOURCE was able to assist over 250 entrepreneurs in the last year.  

That is more than 250 new and current entrepreneurs who are now better equipped to thrive and grow. These are men and women who are seeking to have an impact on our local economy by creating jobs, keeping profits and tax dollars right here in Indianapolis, and sourcing locally made goods and services into our community. 

Here at SOURCE, our interests lie in the dreams and possibilities of tomorrow. As much as we enjoy looking back over our accomplishments, we always keep a sharp focus on the future.  

As we look ahead to 2019, you can expect to see new and exciting programming taking place at SOURCE and throughout Indianapolis. We have learned a lot during our first two years of working with aspiring and current entrepreneurs and all of the knowledge and insights gained have gone into the creation of brand new workshop topics and class series.  

While we will still be offering our Introduction to Business Ownership series, SBA Live! presentations, Business Owners Series – Kauffman FastTrac® New Ventures, and more, the line-up will grow to include workshop topics such as: 

  • Informational Sessions

  • Self-Discovery – Are you ready for entrepreneurship?

  • Business Start-Up Basics

  • Industry-Specific Deep Dive tracks

  • And More!

Be sure to keep an eye on our newsletter in 2019 as we roll out our new offerings!  

These programs have come to be out of the growing and diversifying economic landscape of Indy’s Near West side, which could not have been possible without the dedication, determination, and drive of the local entrepreneurs who put their hearts and souls into their businesses day after day. We here at SOURCE are so grateful and proud to walk alongside these hardworking men and women in their journeys, offering support and guidance when asked, and celebrating their wins with them. Because of what they have taught us, SOURCE is in a position to expand and bring our programming and services to entrepreneurs located throughout Indianapolis. Big changes are coming. 

We would like to invite you to join us in 2019 as an entrepreneur, partner, or supporter. Together, we will continue creating an environment and a city where all entrepreneurs can thrive.

Entrepreneurship Indianapolis – Identifying a “Best Fit” Business Mentor

Entrepreneurship Indianapolis – Identifying a “Best Fit” Business Mentor

Tuesday, December 11 – 6:30pm-8pm

Founder of Circle City Rebar, Frank Davis, discusses the value of mentors and how to find one

Frank Davis

Frank Davis

Entrepreneurship can sometimes feel like completing an endless “to do” checklist. Come up with an idea? Check. File with the state? Check. Open a business bank account? Check. Find a mentor? Hmm. 

Finding a mentor, unfortunately, often takes a backseat to the more technical aspects of starting or running a business.  

When it comes to small businesses and mentors, 92% of small businesses agree that mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business. (Kabbage, Inc.). In fact, 89% of small business owners that don’t have a mentor wish they did.  

Mentors use their experience and expertise to act as a sounding board for your ideas. By remaining objective, they can see your business from a fresh perspective and use their experience to gently guide you away from pitfalls they may have seen firsthand. When you find yourself faced with a difficult decision – one that could forever change the path of your business – mentors are often the ones quietly reminding you of the vision you had in the beginning.   

How can you find the perfect business mentor for your entrepreneurship journey? Join us on December 11th for the final 2018 Entrepreneurship Indianapolis workshop. Frank Davis, founder of Circle City Rebar, will share the impact that his mentors and friends have had on his business success.  

The Entrepreneurship Indianapolis series is discussion-driven so be sure to bring your questions! After Frank shares his story, we will discuss what makes a great (and not so great) mentor, mentor/mentee etiquette, and more. 

We hope you can join us on December 11, 2018. Register now!

SOURCE RW Entrepreneur Spotlight

Nicole Kearney, Vintner/Owner of Sip & Share Winery

Nicole Kearney

Nicole Kearney

Every month, we shine a Spotlight on a hardworking entrepreneur who has taken advantage of SOURCE RW’s educational resources. This month, we feature Nicole Kearney, Vintner/Owner of Sip & Share Winery.

“Never be afraid, especially in the face of concrete financial evidence, to pivot.” – Nicole Kearney

Business Website:

Business Facebook: @sipnsharewinery

Tell us a little about your business.

Sip & Share Winery creates handcrafted, small batch delicious vegan wines. Our wines bring people together for any occasion and target the growing demographic of wine drinkers untapped by the wine industry. Sip & Share Winery wines are fun, easy to drink, and available for purchase at in-home wine tastings, events and online at  

What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefitted?

I have utilized the amazingly talented coaching skills of Sarah. Over a year’s time we have taken my initial business concept, saw a more profitable business model, pivoted and gotten the financial projections together. Doing so allowed me to see the financial picture of my startup and the pathway to profitability. I have also attended several workshops. They have been informative in helping me refine my pitch thanks to Indiana Originals. I have revised my product line design for 2019 based on sage advice of Saidah Pearsall.

What made you interested in being a business owner?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur. As a writer/producer I’ve had to manage my own business and brand. Moving from writing and producing stage plays and streaming series into making wine requires many of the same skills. However, instead of producing one to four projects a year, I’m now making cases and cases of wine over several months.

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

Seeing and hearing the enjoyment folks get when they taste the Sip & Share Winery wines. Building the brand has been exciting and challenging but worth every minute. I can see the vision of what we’re creating even when others can’t. 

What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?

Managing inventory. This is been my biggest area of opportunity. I ran out of our Blood Orange Semi-Sweet Red Wine at one of the largest events we participate in annually. I’m currently looking into an inventory management system that integrates with our online store as a solution. 

Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?

Yes indeed. When I’m working non-stop on the weekends and missing out on all the ‘fun’ others are having. I have said, “I should be content with working and making a good living for my family.” Everyone around me laughs.

 Was there ever a point when you realized you had “made it.”

Not “made it,” but that I belonged. Sip & Share Winery was invited to pour our wines at The Black Wine Experience hosted by The Hue Society at Essence Fest in July. I was super worried my wines wouldn’t be on the same level as the other more seasoned winemakers. My fears (false evidence appearing real) were baseless. Our Semi-Sweet White was the people’s favorite! So Essence is where I earned my stripes. Now I know, Sip & Share Winery wines can hold their own.

If you could tell aspiring business owners just one thing before their journey – that you had wished you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?

First, before anything else, do your financial projections. Spend all the time it takes to ensure you know exactly what your business is going to cost. Have an idea of your business model and make sure it’s viable. Never be afraid, especially in the face of concrete financial, evidence to pivot. We were already three months in business before I started working on my financials. It was about nine months later when I saw with the help of Sarah, my BOI coach, that our wines were our profit center. With that knowledge, we pivoted.

Join Indy Convergence and River West Coffee and Tea

Join Indy Convergence and River West Coffee and Tea

Fridays through December 21st from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

River West Coffee and Tea

River West Coffee and Tea

Indy Convergence and River West Coffee and Tea are teaming up on Fridays to create a pop-up coffee shop on West Michigan Street! Enjoy coffee from River West Coffee truck while visiting Indy Convergence at 2611 West Michigan St., 46222.

Visitors are welcomed to utilize Indy Convergence as a place to relax, have an afternoon meeting or peruse the Haitian art collection. Creative seating and wifi is available!

Stop by on Fridays through December 21 from 2-5pm and follow @IndyConvergence and @riverwestcoffee on Facebook for updates.

Entrepreneurship Indianapolis – Going to Market and Promoting Your Business - Nov. 13

Co-founder of Indiana Originals, Mel McMahon-Stone shares insider knowledge on how to make the most of your marketing dollar.

Mel McMahon-Stone

Mel McMahon-Stone

With the seemingly endless rise of Amazon and the continual openings of big box stores, can small businesses really survive anymore?  

Thanks in part to the “Buy Local!” movements happening all across the nation, yes, they certainly can! Small businesses are vital to a stable economy. In fact, according to the Census’s Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, there were 5.6 million employer firms in the United States in 2016. Of those, firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7%. Firms with fewer than 20 workers made up 89%. 

How can your specific small business break out into the market and strategically compete with larger, more established businesses? We’re glad you asked. Join us at the November 13, 2018, Entrepreneurship Indianapolis workshop. Mel McMahon-Stone, co-founder of Indiana Originals, will be with us to discuss how to get your products and services in front of a large audience, identify your unique value proposition, and make the most of your marketing budget.

Indiana Originals, works to create stronger, healthier communities and increase jobs here in Indiana by encouraging and facilitating a greater use of independent, Indiana owned businesses.  

If you’d like to learn how to identify your business’s unique value proposition and use that to make the most of your marketing budget (no matter the size of it!), we hope to see you on November 13th.  

Be sure to bring your questions with you, as well! Entrepreneurship Indianapolis thrives on its discussion based set-up, meaning that you can ask questions about your specific situation and have a room full of responses. And, you can share your knowledge with your entrepreneurial peers as they ask questions. All in a supportive, educational, and inspiring environment.  

We hope you can join us on November 13, 2018. Register now!

Frank Davis

Frank Davis


Other upcoming Entrepreneurship Indianapolis workshops

Identifying a “Best Fit” Business Mentor
December 11, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Frank Davis, Circle City Rebar

River West Works Coworking Space

River West Works Coworking Space

2226 W. Michigan Street


What is River West Works?

Launching now as part of RUCKUS Makerspace program and SOURCE River West, River West Works is a non-profit coworking space supporting the LISC Great Places 2020 development in the River West /Haughville neighborhood. Located at 2226 W. Michigan Street, this facility offers 4,000 SF of private and shared office space for entrepreneurs, including graduates of the SOURCE River West entrepreneurship programs.    

The space provides resources for:

  • Entrepreneurs who are starting up and scaling.

  • Local Westside residents in need of office space. 

  • Source River West program graduates.

  • Woman/Minority owned startups.

  • Individuals that are facings barriers, including, social, financial, gender, and racial barriers.

 The space consists of:

  • Conference Room

  • HVAC

  • Coffee Bar

  • Alarm/Cameras

  • Mailboxes

  • 24 hour Access, 7 Days a Week

  • Refrigerator

  • Microwave                             

Who will benefit from River West Works?

The facility provides low cost opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals that need co-working space. Funded by the City of Indianapolis and HUD, the facility operates as a benefit to low/moderate income individuals starting or scaling a business idea using office space. The application process will be open to all entrepreneurs with priority given to Westside residents,  women/minority businesses, and low to moderate-income micro- entrepreneurs. 

All income levels are welcome, however availability and scholarships will be based on need. Potential users of the space will be evaluated to ensure the overall facility benefit is maximized in community.  We are looking for active use of the space’s office environment.  

Why is River West Works needed?

Aspiring entrepreneurs who have outgrown their home office often lack the cashflow to pay for an office space lease that allows for a professional and focused environment. Costs at other “coworking spaces” are much higher and tend to focus on tech-based startups. These high fee structures make the development of non-tech businesses and other social enterprises difficult to afford. River West Works will help those entrepreneurs by providing affordable space in which they can further incubate their ideas. 

I am an Entrepreneur, how can I learn more about joining the space?

If you are interested in being part of the startup community in River West, start the four (4) step process at the RUCKUS Makerspace ( website. This will schedule a tour. Plan to share your business idea with us and discuss your plans to develop it. Membership rates range from  $50 to $450 per month based equitably on income, office size, and business stage with limited access to scholarships to help reduce these costs. The space will also work closely with the SOURCE River West to provide coaching and workshops. 

How can the community support the River West Works?

We are seeking in-kind donations for:

●        Scholarship support for low/moderate income makers.

●        Furniture and Office Equipment.

●        Technical Support  (Mentorship). 


Consuelo Poland, 

Eric Strickland, 


SOURCE RW Entrepreneur Spotlight

Tia Williams, Owner of LifeSavers Plus LLC

Every month, we shine a Spotlight on a hardworking entrepreneur who has taken advantage of SOURCE RW’s educational resources. This month, we feature Tia Williams, Owner of LifeSavers Plus LLC.

Tia Williams

Tia Williams

"The law of attraction states that what you think and feel determines what you’ll attract into your life," says Tia, pulling from The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne.

Business Website: Coming Soon!

Business Email:

Business Facebook:


What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefited?

I was a part of the Kauffman Business Owners Series, but beforehand I attended several business workshops. Also, I have a great business coach, Sarah MacInnis of BOI, who provides open, honest, and useful information for new business owners like myself.

What made you interested in being a business owner?

Being a business owner came from my passion and dedication working in the healthcare field. I have always enjoyed working and helping others. Working in many healthcare settings and seeing different health emergencies occur gave me the drive to pursue my dream.  

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

Believe it or not I’ve enjoyed the process it takes to become a successful business owner. I’ve learned so much on this journey and met some great networks along the way.

What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?

Although it’s rewarding and worthwhile it can be a bit challenging and intimidating when you’re in the start-up stage or even thereafter. I say this because you should be different from your competitors.  

Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?

Of course! I still struggle with that now sometimes, but I always think back to what I read in The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. In essence, “The law of attraction states that what you think and feel determines what you’ll attract into your life.” That alone makes me shift my mindsight to what I want my business to become along the way; which is successful.

Was there ever a point when you realized you had “made it.”

In all honesty I’m not there yet, however I’m on the path to that moment. Opportunities like this lets me know I’m headed in the right direction.

If you could tell aspiring business owners just one thing before their journey – that you had wished you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?

I would say connect with someone who is successful in the industry you’re starting your business. Whether it be through social media outlets, business groups or workshops. Also, stay the course and never give up on your dream. In the words of Denise Heard, “This is your baby and you want it to live on with great success”.

Message from Mark Roger, Director SOURCE RW

From Mark Roger:

Mark Roger

Mark Roger

I recently announced my resignation as Executive Director of SOURCE RW with my final day being October 5th. The decision to leave has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make both personally and professionally. My work at SOURCE RW has been incredibly rewarding and the success that we have shared here at SOURCE RW goes well beyond my expectations. The residents of Indianapolis’ Near West are fine people and welcomed my efforts and our Center with open arms. From providing an initial business ownership series to our fully-operational service and training destination, we now annually meet the interests of hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners. The icing on the cake for me was the winning of LISC’s Opportunity Award as part of the Love Thy Neighborhood Awards for 2018.  

While my leaving is bitter sweet, I do want to take this opportunity to thank those who have contributed in making SOURCE RW’s first two years a success. First, a round of applause to Denise Praul of Business Networking International, Ruth Morales of the Indpls Mayor’s Office, Mel McMahon Stone of Indiana Originals, and Ronda Crouch and Sharon Harvey of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) who seldom told me “no.” It’s rare to find a group of professionals who are so committed to volunteering whenever called upon. Second, thank you to the SOURCE RW Board and specifically Tom O’Neil, the SOURCE RW Board Chair, and Dr. Toya Crain, board member and Haughville STRONG convenor.  

My thank you list would not be complete without a special thank you to Sarah McInnis of Indy Chamber Business Ownership Inititiative (BOI), Teresa Francis of IUPUI Office of Community Engagement (OCE), and especially to Elizabeth Davis who is SOURCE RW’s current Operations Manager and one of the best “go to” people I have ever had the good fortune to work with. All three of these professionals have treated their roles and the Center with the utmost professionalism and more often than not going above and beyond without ever being asked. Finally, I also sincerely would like to thank the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement for taking a chance on me and the handful of business education ideas I arrived with.

I wish I could thank everyone but there are so many who have demonstrated their commitment to making the Near West and SOURCE RW thrive. While leaving is a difficult decision, having had the experience of working with such quality people on such a worthwhile endeavor has made coming to SOURCE RW one of my very best decisions.   


Fall hours for SOURCE RW!

As the weather cools down and the holidays approach, SOURCE RW’s hours of operation are changing. Beginning October 1st, 2018, the SOURCE RW office hours of operation will be: 

Monday through Thursday – 9am-5pm

Friday – By appointment only

Saturday through Sunday - Closed 

Feel free to stop in and see us anytime for information on how you can get involved in the workshops, education, and programs offered by SOURCE RW! We are available by phone at (317) 737-2155 and email at

Entrepreneurship Indianapolis – Selecting the Right Encore Career For You

Local franchise owner, Bill Higgins, discusses leaving corporate America to become a franchise owner

Entrepreneurship Indianapolis is a monthly series designed for people who wish to explore entrepreneurship and for those who have already taken the leap into business ownership. Attendees have already learned about Opportunity Zones and marketing/branding of products.

Bill Higgins

Bill Higgins

Next up – Franchises! 

If you have ever considered purchasing a franchise, it is important to know that it isn’t all burgers and fries! Bill Higgins, owner of Hoodz Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning, will be presenting “Selecting the right encore career for you” at Entrepreneurship Indianapolis on October 9, 2018, about his start-up journey, what “success” means to him, and general franchise ownership information.

Bill will share his experience of leaving his corporate job to become a business owner, complete with tips and tricks of the franchise trade. This is your chance to find out from a franchise owner exactly what it is like to take a leap into business ownership by way of a franchise!  

Since Entrepreneurship Indianapolis is designed to be discussion-driven, questions are always welcome. Ideas and experiences of the audience also become valuable content in this unique monthly series.  

We hope you can join us on October 9th. Register today! 


Other upcoming Entrepreneurship Indianapolis workshops:

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

A Look Behind the Mentor Connect Program

SOURCE RW’s Mentor Connect program is a free mentor program that matches clients to qualified, vetted, seasoned professionals. Mentors and mentees work together to solve specific problems and to generate ideas to grow and expand the mentees’ businesses.

Have you ever thought about what qualities make for a stellar mentor? A great mentor is someone who will:

1)    Care about and invest in your professional growth

2)    Share a similar value system in leadership and management

3)    Speak the truth

Leanne Emery

Leanne Emery

Meet mentor professional, Leanne Emery

We couldn’t be happier to have an experienced mentor professional, Leanne Emery, involved with Mentor Connect. Leanne is a Certified Mentor from SCORE Association, a nonprofit association supported by SBA, of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories. Leanne sits on the Mentor Connect committee and is helping to guide and shape the SOURCE RW Mentoring program.

Leanne Emery came to SOURCE RW after recently retiring from SCORE Indianapolis Chapter 6. While with SCORE, she worked as a Certified Mentor Trainer and trained SCORE’s volunteer mentors. In addition to training SCORE mentors in best practices, Leanne also served as the Membership Chair and actively recruited other individuals wishing to volunteer. Leanne’s mentoring experience is mainly in working with individuals wishing to start their own businesses and her specialty is non-profits. With a passion for entrepreneurship and personal ties to the Near West neighborhoods, SOURCE RW is a natural fit for Leanne’s experience, talents, and skills.  

Leanne was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about her involvement with SOURCE RW Mentor Connect, as well as her background as an entrepreneur.

What do you hope clients get out of a mentoring session?

A sense of connectedness to me as a mentor who is interested in their success and willing to support, as well as suggestions on moving forward. 

What made you interested in business ownership?

I was most interested in providing a quality service to my clients and a healthy environment for staff to grow. I also focused on a specific vision with direction that fostered growth, nurturing, and empowerment to clients and staff as they worked together. 

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

Watching our clients reach a 96% success rate when the expected success rate was 90%. The enthusiasm of staff as they worked with the clients and as they grew together as a staff. 

What have you enjoyed least about owning my own business?

My biggest was the annual grant writing process because it was time consuming and I did it myself. The second was having to confront and discharge two employees who hindered our business.  

Was there a point when you wanted to quit?

There were times my husband and I were stressed due to cash flow, but we never thought of quitting, because of our commitment. The only reason we closed the business was because our contract was cut to the extent that we would have had to make major changes in our program which meant a poorer quality and we were not willing to do that.

Was there ever a point when you realized you had “made it”?

We had points when we knew things were going well, however since most of our work came from grants we were very aware of the volatility of those. We were a small business and really had no desire to become a huge organization which may have been our downfall, but it was our choice and we are extremely pleased with the one of a kind services we provided.  

If you could tell aspiring business owners just one thing before their journey – that you had wished you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?

First and foremost, have a mentor.  I was fortunate, however, what I wish I had known was that it is a slow process to build a business into one that pays your bills in full and sustains itself so be financially savvy always.

Learn more about the Mentor Connect program.

One of the Newest River West Small Businesses!

River West Coffee & Tea

River West Coffee & Tea Owner, Bogdan Zgirta, talks with Near West customers.

River West Coffee & Tea Owner, Bogdan Zgirta, talks with Near West customers.

One morning, a surprise visitor walked through the door of SOURCE RW. Before us stood one of our One-on-One Business Coaching clients, Co-owners Bogdan and Marcia Zgirta, beckoning us outside. We followed and were greeted by such a lovely site – their new mobile coffee and tea truck! Very needed on that morning.  

River West Coffee & Tea has only been in operation for about a month, but judging by their quality of product and customer service, they will be giving more established businesses a run for their money! It just goes to show the difference that preparation and attention to detail can make for small businesses. 

It is always wonderful to have former and current clients stop by to share with us how their entrepreneurship journey is progressing. SOURCE RW is here to turn your business ideas into a reality!

So how are things going with your business? Stop by and tell us all about it! You are also welcome to call at (317) 737-2155 or send an email to

Hope to hear from you soon!

Business Ownership Series Starts 4th Class!

Business Ownership Series Starts 4th Class!

October 4 – December 13, Thursdays 6pm-9pm

Trying to decide when to jump “full-time” into your business start-up, ready to ramp up your existing business, or thinking about selling? It all starts with a strong business foundation. 

Let us help you build your foundation through our Business Owners Series-Kauffman FastTrac®. On Thursday evenings, October 4th – December 13th, SOURCE RW is once again hosting our Kauffman Business Owners Series in partnership with Business Ownership Initiative. Spend 10 weeks diving into your business and rethinking everything you thought you knew about how it works. This is your chance to take your business to the next level. 

Past participants will confirm it was time well spent.  Participants actively learn about:

  • Identifying market niches;
  • Collecting, researching, and analyzing pertinent market research;
  • Communicating brand and marketing strategies;
  • Developing sales methods;
  • Building an organization and team;
  • Charting profitability;
  • Measuring cash flow and ongoing cash needs;
  • Seeking funding sources; and MORE!

Participation in the Kauffman FastTrac® New Ventures Series is partially underwritten by a grant from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, bringing the total cost for the series down from $500 to only $149! 

This course is facilitated in a supportive environment where participants are able to learn and share with other entrepreneurs walking the same path. Previous participants stay in touch with their peers, and continue to support one another in entrepreneurship. Having a close group of business owner allies can be invaluable in staying on-track. 

To learn more, please click here. We hope to see you in October!


SOURCE RW is now officially a 501c3

Moved to a full governance board

Effective this summer, SOURCE River West Entrepreneurship Center has officially been issued nonprofit status by the Indiana Secretary of State. This means that SOURCE RW is incorporated and recognized in the state of Indiana as an organization with legal status. With this change in status also comes a shift in SOURCE RW governance. IUPUI will continue to support SOURCE RW as its fiscal agent and the board of directors, previously acting as an advisory board, has now moved to a full governance board. In the near future, SOURCE RW will be filing the paperwork to receive federal tax exempt status as well. Watch for future articles and profiles of the board members. Big things are happening!


IUPUI Students Study Near West Merchants and Residents

IUPUI’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) Capstone Program

Near West.jpg

SOURCE RW takes an active role in the economic development of the Near West (NW) through its involvement on the NW’s Opportunity Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of NW residents and volunteers seeking to strengthen the viability of the Near West business community and connect merchants with business education and services provided by SOURCE RW.


SOURCE RW is excited to announce that our NW Opportunity Project proposal was accepted by the students in the Fall 2018 SPEA Graduate Capstone Class. IUPUI’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) Capstone Program provides Graduate students in their last year with the opportunity to share their expertise with the community by tackling real-world challenges. These students are learning how to work in government, nonprofit, and business roles to make positive changes in their communities.

Formally titled Development of Near West Merchant Alliance and Enhancement of Resident Patronage, our Project will focus on enhancing the shopping/purchasing relationship with and between Near West merchants and residents. The Project encompasses identifying and engaging merchants within the Near West to work with one another and increasing resident patronage. While an out-of-date NW merchant database exists, there is limited cooperation with and between merchants, and a perception that NW residents do not frequent NW merchants on a regular basis. Students’ efforts will include interviewing key merchants from each of the three corridors (Michigan, Washington and 16th Streets) to determine viability, interest, and input.

At the end of the Project, the Capstone students should provide the NW Opportunity Task Force with:   

1) a comprehensive list of Near West businesses encompassing the three major commercial corridors (Michigan, Washington and 16th Street), 

2) a list of identifiable models of and recommendations for a merchant’s association and/or programming to build merchant/resident relations and increase patronage, and

3) a roll-out strategy that includes connecting merchants to Near West residents.

SPEA students “win” too by developing the practical skills that prepare them for careers and to enhance their ability to craft solutions to society's problems. Student projects not only will produce useful knowledge but provide students with meaningful learning experiences and the opportunity to apply their education directly to community issues. We look forward to the Capstone results as we conclude the semester.   


SOURCE RW Entrepreneur Spotlight

Chaunda Fabio, Founder of Creative Custom Crafts

                         Chaunda Fabio

                         Chaunda Fabio

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!