Move Your Business Forward Through This Proven Education Series

Move Your Business Forward Through This Proven Education Series

April 26 - June 28 | Thursday evenings | 6:00pm - 9:00pm |  $149 (Value of $500)

SOURCE RW in partnership with the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), is again offering the Kauffman FastTrac Business Owners Series at SOURCE RW. Sessions are geared towards entrepreneurs who want to explore the next stage of growth. Our 10-week deep dive is taught in a supportive and encouraging environment. This training is ideal for newly established entrepreneurs and those looking to scale-up their business. Your business is your dream. Gain the tools to make it a reality.


Session 1: Exploring Entrepreneurship

Session 2: Identifying/Meeting Market Needs

Session 3: Setting Financial Goals

Session 4: Planning the Product/Service

Session 5: Researching/Analyzing the Market

Session 6: Reaching the Market

Session 7: Building the Organization & Team

Session 8: Planning for a Profitable Business

Session 9 - Cash Flow and Funds Seeking       

Session 10 - Implementing Next Steps and Pitch


This series will help you determine whether your business has a market, can make a profit, and can provide the money you need. Weekly sessions include group discussions, coaching sessions, and networking opportunities with one another, staff and guest speakers. The course ends with a pitch contest in which the entrepreneurs share their business concept, receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals, and have the opportunity to win start-up capital provided by the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

Classes meet Thursdays from 6p-9p April 26 – June 28. Course Fee:  $149 – a $500 value with a portion underwritten by JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

For more info and to confirm that the series is the right fit for you, contact Center Director, Mark Roger, at or by calling 317-737-2155. Register here.

NEW! Mentor Connect

NEW! Mentor Connect

Business owners connecting with industry experts

It’s hard work to build your business and there are challenges around every corner.  Fortunately, entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone. Recently, SOURCE RW begun offering Mentor Connect – a free, mentor program that matches clients to seasoned professionals who work to creatively and honestly solve specific problems and help mentees to build and expand their businesses. 

Through SOURCE RW’s Mentor Connect, you can connect with a mentor for a reality check, constructive criticism, or simply a pat on the back. A well-chosen mentor is someone who will: 1) care and invest in your professional growth, 2) share a similar value system in leadership and management, and most importantly, 3) speak the truth. Input that can make a significant difference to someone looking to start-up or scale up their business.  

Mentor Connect attempts to identify a mentor in the same or similar business industry or type of business. Someone who better understands your business's specific and unique challenges and concerns. Through mentoring, your chances of success increases with access to the business knowledge and guidance of experienced professionals who share their skills sets and expertise. It’s actually a “win” for our mentors too since they want to see progress and take pride in knowing that their input has been helpful.

A successful connection can really make a difference in getting your start-up started on the right foot or scale your existing business. Learn more about Mentor Connect by calling Jacey Stuckey, Program Assistant at 317-737-2155.

Entrepreneur spotlight

Marilyn Lopez, Owner/Designer

Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask them to share a bit of their entrepreneurship journey and how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Marilyn Ivette Lopez, Founder, Innovator and Engine of eStudio 429 and La Guia Indy.

 Marilyn Lopez

Marilyn Lopez

"La Guía Indy which translates as “The Guide Indy” and eStudio 429 were conceived in 2011 and our product, La Guía Indy was introduced to the public in January 2017," says Marilyn. eStudio 429 is a bilingual graphic design and marketing studio whose focus is on bridging the Latino community of Indianapolis with the general traditional Indiana market. Fundamentally, eStudio 429 creates the platform to provide multiculturalism marketing through a mobile app called “La Guía Indy.” 

What made you interested in business ownership?

Having an entrepreneur spirit since high school, I knew that one day I would own my own business. As I volunteered and immersed myself with my grassroots, I learned to appreciate the beauty, flavor, warmth, passion, and dedication my people have with their small businesses. Helping Latino business owners eventually became my passion.  

When I worked in Corporate America, I witnessed the lack of attention given to the Latino community. It was apparent that business owners needed a voice to introduce their businesses. This dream of becoming that bridge to connect Latino small businesses to the general market and vice versa was my inspiration and motivation.

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

Becoming a business owner is an amazing journey of gathering courage, stirring a giant pot of ideas, becoming the wind to blow the seasoned ideas into existence, and being the servant that brings the actual business to serve the community or public at large. Seeing the doors open wide open and the connections of dots by services that are rendered to those who need it, and seeing their smiles of satisfaction that their goals are being accomplished gives me confirmation to keep running the race of being an entrepreneur and keeping the faith that I had since the beginning.

What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?

Definitely experiencing the stresses of the unseen. Making sure you are prepared for the obstacles and challenges that may come, especially the ones that come from maintaining a steady cash flow.

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 share with aspiring business owners, that there is help! You are not alone. There is a community of people and organizations that want you to succeed. There are mentors, assistance, and lots of open doors. Don’t start alone, begin with those who hearts’ desire is to see emerging business owners rise and succeed such as Source RW. With hard work, one open door will lead to many open doors. And an open door is worth much more than you can imagine.

How did you learn about SOURCE RW?

I was referred to Source RW by a professional acquaintance who thought I would benefit from their educational resources. I met with Mark Roger and it was an instant, successful connection and collaboration for my business.

What business topics have you addressed thus far?

I have worked regularly with a business coach at Source RW.  Those sessions have successfully guided me through simple business basics, decision making, problem solve strategies and has helped me make some amazing connections.

What “one” thing stands out that you have learned at SOURCE RW, thus far?  

What I have learned from Source RW is that there are so many ways to make decisions, but knowing that as a business owner, I am not alone. The Center is a place where I can share my business concerns and confident that professional advice will be provided by genuine professionals who want to see you succeed. SOURCE RW provides some amazing services and their staff shows real concern for the entrepreneur community of Indianapolis.

Overall, how have you benefited from your time at SOURCE RW?

As I continue to collaborate with Source RW and learn from their expertise, I am able to make the correct goals and have the accountability to keep myself focused. I am great at what I do in marketing and design, but I never studied business. Source RW has become my source for business expertise, so my business can flourish. 

LOVE Thy Neighborhood Awards

We are Opportunity finalist!


We are excited to announce that SOURCE RW has been selected as a finalist in the Opportunity Category for the Annual LISC Indianapolis Love Thy Neighborhood Awards. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis is dedicated to transforming distressed neighborhoods in our community into healthy and sustainable communities—good places to work, do business, and raise children.

The winner in each category receives a funding award for their organization.  This 2nd annual event will take place on Thursday, April 26, 2018, at the Indiana War Memorial, 55 E. Michigan St., 46204, starting at 5:30pm. Tickets are $25 per person and Corporate packages are available. Cocktail attire is suggested.

This annual event starts at 5:30p with an incredible reception of heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks that showcase the authentic cultures of area neighborhoods. The awards ceremony follows at 6:30p which features videos telling each of the finalists stories, created specifically for this evening by LISC, being shown. The evening culminates with all attendees viewing a short video on each finalist and event attendees voting on their favorite Program for the People’s Choice Cash Award. It’s a significant event for SOURCE RW and we hope that you come and vote for SOURCE RW and celebrate the success of the Near West with us!

Purchase tickets to attend the Love Thy Neighborhood Awards here.

Professional Meeting Space

Professional Meeting Space

Workspace for evening/weekend meetings

Are you looking for a unique location to hold your next corporate gathering? Do you need a bright, urban space in downtown Indianapolis with free parking?

Good news! You are now able to rent SOURCE RW for your next professional business meeting. Rates begin at just $45 for 3 hours with rental times on weekday evenings until 9p and weekends based upon availability.

SOURCE RW provides:

  • Free guest WiFi
  • Worktables and seating for 30ppl with additional seating available upon request      
  • Technology and presentation capabilities available upon request    
  • Kitchenette area for food preparation        
  • Coffee and beverage service available for a fee upon request
  • Neighborhood catering/delivery options available   

Our Center is just moments from the IUPUI campus. Conveniently located with quick access to downtown Indianapolis, airport, and I-465. Ample street parking available. Additional fees will be incurred on items made available upon request. For room date availability information and additional rental detail, call SOURCE RW at 317-737-2155.

Kauffman:  Business Owners Education Series

Kauffman: Business Owners Education Series

Next series begins April 26 - June 28, 2018

Thursday evenings | 6:00pm – 9:00pm | Price:  $149 - Limited Time only!


SOURCE RW once again is offering the Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series, thanks to the generous support of our JPMorgan Charitable Trust Grant. Our program provides entrepreneurs the foundation and network needed to succeed. Your business is your dream. Gain the tools to make it a reality. Courses are geared towards entrepreneurs who want to explore the next stage of growth. Classes meet Thursdays weekly and the program concludes with a Pitch Fest where participants have an opportunity to introduce their concept.

Ideal if you are looking to move your business idea forward, our multi-week course provides a proven framework to help support you as an aspiring entrepreneur.  Lead by local entrepreneur Denise Herd, our course is taught in an interactive, group-oriented environment where you will be encouraged to network with class members to bolster your business idea.

Course Curriculum: 

Week 1 - Exploring Entrepreneurship

Week 2 - Identifying/Meeting Market Needs

Week 3 - Setting Financial Goals

Week 4 - Planning the Product/Service      

Week 5 -Researching/Analyzing the Market

                  - BREAK-

Week 6 - Reaching the Market

Week 7 - Building the Organization & Team   

Week 8 - Planning for a Profitable Business

Week 9 - Cash Flow and Funds Seeking     

Week 10 - Implementing Next Steps and Pitch Competition – April 1



For assistance, call 317.737.2155.

SOURCE River West, 2230 West Michigan Street

Meet Ruth Morales!

Third Wednesdays | 3:00pm - 5:00pm | Free

         Ruth Morales

       Ruth Morales

SOURCE RW would like to introduce Ruth Morales, our neighborhood advocate!

Being directly engaged with the residents of the Near West is a vital part of SOURCE RW’s success. Twice each month, we focus on our neighborhoods and their economic development through community discussions hosted by Ruth Morales who is the Mayor's Neighborhood Advocate for Downtown and the Near Westside of Indianapolis.  

Originally assuming the role of Community Coordinator of the Near West Collaborative in August of 2013, she has faithfully served our neighborhoods over the last five years. In January of 2017, Ruth’s move to the Mayor’s Office as a Neighborhood Advocate provided her an opportunity to really make an impact. In this role, she is the Near West's direct link to the Mayor's office, city departments and services.

Ruth offers "Office Hours" two Wednesdays per month which are open to all citizens here at SOURCE RW. The second Wednesday of each month (3p-5p) Ruth focuses on issues and answers questions that face the quality of life within the four neighborhoods and the River West corridor. The third Wednesday of each month (3p-5p) she focuses on economic issues pertinent to the Near West including business opportunities, driving economic growth, and the economic viability of the four Near West and surrounding neighborhoods. As a complement to SOURCE RW’s bilingual business coaching, Ruth welcomes bilingual discussion for Spanish speaking attendees while at SOURCE RW.

“I really appreciate being able to regularly meet with residents at SOURCE RW and directly address their questions and concerns," says Ruth. "It is most beneficial when I am meeting with business owners needing information or presented with an economic development project. These meetings also allow me the opportunity to invite applicable governmental experts to join meeting sessions and address issues expeditiously.”   

Wednesday “Office Hours” are 3p to 5p and always open to the public.

Entrepreneur Spotlight

Teri Cox, Owner/Designer

Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Teri Cox of Handcrafted Jewelry by Teri C.

     Teri Cox, Owner/Designer

   Teri Cox, Owner/Designer

Handcrafted Jewelry by Teri C. launched in 2008. The previous name of the business was TAC "Bead Dazzled" Jewelry Boutique. "We create and sell handcrafted jewelry for both women and men," says Teri. "In addition to our online presence, we create custom pieces and a wide array of jewelry repair options."

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

I have worked with SOURCE RW on both my social media and my overall website presence. I am far more confident when connecting with potential clients. SOURCE RW has taught me how to utilize social media – and the tools that are part of the sites - to my advantage as a business owner. Before coming to SOURCE RW, I struggled on my own to figure out how to make my sites look professional and function better. They also went a step further with me to review my website and made recommendations so that it integrated well with my social media. Thank you SOURCE RW!!!

What made you interested in business ownership?

I was introduced to business ownership when I was in the 8th grade and I knew that I wanted to eventually have a business of my own. Just the thought of the independence of working for myself was so exciting to me, even at a young age. I knew that someday I would be a business owner.

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

Meeting other people in business for themselves along the way. Hearing their stories, their struggles and their successes is inspiring to me and has empowered me to be a stronger and more engaged business owner. 

What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?

There are so many things you just don’t know. A great example is sheer “space to work.”  I had no idea what my space needs would be when I start out and it lead to several challenges, some costly, that could have been avoided.

Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?

I have never thought about quitting. Quitting is not an option! I like to consider myself a work in progress. If I could share one piece of advise with an aspiring business owner, I would tell them that business ownership takes an all-out commitment, lots of Grit, and a big dose of perseverance.

What’s Your Next Series gets started!

McKee kicks-off Encore discussion series

 Mary Pat McKee

Mary Pat McKee

Some may call them “encore careers,” or “lifestyle careers,” or even “starting overs,” but looking to begin a new career in your 50’s is becoming more and more commonplace. On January 18th, SOURCE RW kicked-off our new Encore Programs with our “What’s Your Next” Discussion Series.  In January, our discussion was lead by Mary Pat McKee who is founder and CEO of IndyBoomer Magazine. McKee’s presentation focused on her passion to showcase engaged, boomer-aged individuals as well as provide her own list of “tips and pointers” for those seeking to reinvent themselves professionally later in life.

Looking for a lifestyle career herself, McKee left a corporate position in 2007 to follow her passion and open IndyBoomer. Today, IndyBOOMER connects IndyBOOMER Magazine, IndyBOOMER TV and BOOMER Radio providing useful information to Boomers living in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Articles, shows and podcasts are upbeat and positive, focus on lifestyle issues, are short, and are of broad interest to the target audience. All three types of media address topics that impact the lives of Boomers by partnering with subject matter experts from the Indianapolis area to ensure that readers are aware of the resources locally available to them.  

McKee began by identifying where most of her conversations with boomers begin. Customarily, her first conversation begins by asking “what do you really want to do and accomplish?” A struggle for most people who have never given much consideration to how their life would playout between the ages of 50 – 75. Today’s boomers began their careers anticipating to retire at age 65 but now realize that they may still have 25 or 30 more years of life ahead of them. This means they are facing 2-3 decades of life that needs to include both income and purpose.  McKee says, “determining your personal and professional goals, or simply identifying what you want to accomplish in those boomer years, may be the most difficult hurdle of all.” A hurdle that many boomers never overcome.
She believes there are two things that have made her successful:  1) hiring the right people, and 2) hiring people who can see her vision. “Surround yourself with employees who are good at duties and responsibilities that you are not,” says McKee, and give them an opportunity to thrive is what her working environment is all about. An example is social media. I knew very little but I hired someone who was proficient at social media and could take my business places I could have never imagined.” The broader the expertise within the business the happier she is. McKee noted, “while boomers may be reluctant, it’s important for them to not be shy in hiring individuals who are better than themselves at certain tasks – it’s what creates a depth and breadth to a business.” She also prefers to focus on employees who can see “her big picture of the business.” It’s “difficult to train someone who just doesn’t share my vision,” adds McKee, “and I have tried but they never seem to be a good fit in the organization.”

“Showcasing successful boomers to emulate and providing career support to this often overlooked segment of our community,” notes McKee, “is what SOURCE RW’s Encore Programs are all about and why I wanted to be one of the first to participate.  It’s important work and a natural fit for IndyBoomer.

The Encore Programs are created especially for those seeking a second or lifestyle career at age 50+. Encore Programs meet bi-weekly on Thursdays and alternates between free discussion sessions ("What's Your Next") and kick-starter sessions that provide a hands-on approach to addressing pertinent business ownership issues ("Encore Career Toolbox"). Check the calendar for upcoming Encore sessions here.

Entrepreneur Spotlight

Dan Madden, CEO of From Vine to Wine Tours

Start Date:  On my 65th birthday, January 22, 2018

Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Dan Madden, CEO of From Vine to Wine Tours and Fall 2017 Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series graduate.

 Dan Madden, Owner

Dan Madden, Owner

From Vine to Wine Tours provides knowledge-driven, fun wine tours and tastings of estate vineyards throughout Southwest Michigan. "Our target audience is central and northern Indiana and the Chicago area,” says Madden.

What made you interested in business ownership?

My wife and I wanted to start a business before retirement.  We are really excited to watching our business grow and prosper.  Our goal is to build and expand our business and, ultimately, sell the business in a few years. 

How did you learn about SOURCE RW?

I was recommended to SOURCE RW through the Indy Chamber.

What business topics have you addressed thus far?

I have learned the basics of business ownership, the importance of market research, which numbers are the most significant and how to better promote my business through my participation in the Kauffman Business Owners Series. 

What “one” thing stands out that you have learned at SOURCE RW, thus far?   

When it comes to business ownership, the buck stops with me.   From Vine to Wine Tours will be what I make out of it. 

What do you anticipate enjoying most about being a business owner?

I really do appreciate being in the situation where the buck stops with me.  I have no reservations in working hard – it leads to success.

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

It’s all about the numbers and numbers never lie.  1 +1 will never equal 3 no matter how badly you want it to equal 3.  The numbers are always, and forever, your guiding light.

How have you benefited from your time at SOURCE RW? 

SOURCE RW provides a very comprehensive portfolio of business education options for the start-up entrepreneur.  I am confident that I will continue to connect with the Center as needs arise in the growth of my business.  Most importantly, under their direction, I have received confirmation that my business concept is a doable business model.  Working with SOURCE RW has made me much more confident in opening my business. 


Meet Sarah!

SOURCE RW Business Coach

Let us introduce you to Sarah MacInnis who coaches clients on Mondays and Tuesdays at SOURCE RW.


Why do you enjoy coaching: “Entrepreneurs come for business coaching for a variety of reasons. They might have a dream they want to start; they might want to have more control over their career; they might need help troubleshooting a business issue or problem; or they may need capital to grow their business. Whatever the reason, I am energized by trying to understand each client’s unique situation and helping to move them beyond their current position to a better one. Working together with the appropriate resources, connections and strategies, we can build some amazing business ventures!”

Sarah’s expertise in personal and professional coaching, training and assessment; strategic planning; financial management; program administration; networking; stakeholder consensus building, staff supervision, and employee development have established Sarah as strategic thinker focused on interdisciplinary solutions. She has over 12 years of experience working for national and local non-profit organizations.

Her coaching is offered free of charge to clients through the generosity of the JPMorgan Charitable Trust. Sarah currently serves as the Director of Business Coaching Services for the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and supports her community by volunteering with the Children’s Museum where she designs and teaches enrichment programs for the museum preschool.


The proof is in the numbers

The proof is in the numbers

Successful Progress at SOURCE RW

In business, if you want to know how well a business is progressing, they say that the “proof is in the numbers.”  You can identify business success and impact by tracking the numbers produced.  As we reach the end of our first year in our site, there is no better time to review and highlight our first-year successes.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the positive response that we have received from both our neighbors within the Near West neighborhoods and the Indianapolis business community.  Where is the proof?  Here are just a few of the numbers: 

   Entrepreneurs completed full Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series.

Entrepreneurs completed full Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series.

   Near West residents attended a workshop.

Near West residents attended a workshop.

   Hours of coaching provided to Near West residents.

Hours of coaching provided to Near West residents.

   Hours that SOURCE RW professionals were engaged in our community.

Hours that SOURCE RW professionals were engaged in our community.

   Individuals and small businesses received assistance.

Individuals and small businesses received assistance.

   Community-wide outreach business introductions made.

Community-wide outreach business introductions made.

Of course, we here at SOURCE RW are like any other start-up entrepreneurs. We are looking eagerly to our second year with more challenges, more clients, more businesses and an opportunity to watch our impact continue to grow!

Success at Pitch Fest – Fall ‘17

Success at Pitch Fest – Fall ‘17

On November 16th, 2017, SOURCE River West Entrepreneurship Center (SOURCE RW) hosted its second Pitch-Fest, at SOURCE RW, 2230 West Michigan Street Indy. Entrepreneurs who had completed the SOURCE RW Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series were invited to pitch their business ideas and possibly win a $1000 award, provided by the Kelley School of Business, Indianapolis.  Kauffman FastTrac® is offered at SOURCE RW in partnership with the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and with funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

The winners of the IUPUI Kelley School of Business $1000 awards were Carlotta Stepp who presented her business:  Smart & Snazzy (manufacture/sale of customized wallets) and Hannah Northup who presented her business: Northup HR (human resource consulting). Congratulations also goes out to our other participants, Chandra Walker, Dan Madden, Anthony Barr, Robin Barr, and Devina Jani, who completed the Kauffman FastTrac® course and participated in the SOURCE RW Pitch-Fest.   

Special thanks to the SOURCE RW Pitch Fest Judges: Leanne Emery of SCORE Chapter 6, Saidah Pearsall of Shea BODYWORKS, Phil Powell of Kelley School of Business, and Denise Praul of Accurate Tax Management Corp.

With support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, SOURCE RW is able to offer the Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series at a discounted rate of $149. The next Kauffman FastTrac® Business Owners Series will be held February 1 – March 29, 2018 at SOURCE RW. Aspiring entrepreneurs and new business owners are encouraged to register and take their businesses to the next level! Please visit here for more information.


Chandra Walker, CEO of Farmergirl Fresh

Tagline:  Your Test. Your Food. Your Terms.

Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Chandra Walker, CEO of Farmergirl Fresh and Fall 2017 Kauffman FastTrac® graduate.

 Chandra Walker

Chandra Walker

"The idea of Farmergirl Fresh was conceived in 2013 when one of my clients hadn’t been following the diet the doctor had given to him. He told me that, if I would grocery shop for him and cook his meals, that he would follow the diet. So, that night I sat down in my kitchen and came up with a “kitchen table business plan” over a weekend," Chandra says.

What is the focus of your product and/or service? 

Farmergirl Fresh is a consumer health technology company. Our focus is on advanced risk testing for cardiovascular disease, pre-diabetes, metabolic disease, cancer, traditional lipid profile, and autoimmune disease. We describe our business as engaging and empowering people about their health. Farmergirl Fresh will be on the cusp of preventative medicine. The more we are able to spot health issues before they arise, the more we can do something about them. We will feature an online grocery store, healthy meals, and health coaches to help guide clients, physicians, and employer groups to manage these risk.  

What made you interested in business ownership?

Personally, I wanted to change the way medicine is practiced in America.  Every person has the right to actionable health care information, at the time it matters. If we can give people access to their health information earlier in the disease process, we shift our health care system model. Farmergirl Fresh was to move that paradigm toward prevention. Our services begin with laboratory tests which drives 80% of clinical decisions.

What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

I enjoy helping people and sharing business knowledge with one another. It is important to build a village of knowledgeable people around your business, this is exactly what I have found at Source RW.

What have you enjoyed least about being a business owner?

The long hours involved in building your brand - a social life is much desired.

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?

My advice to an aspiring entrepreneur is just get started. Don’t let anyone discourage you from your business dreams. It doesn’t matter what you are up against. Stay focused and get started! You don’t have to be “great” to get started, but in order to be great you have to “get started.”

How did you learn about SOURCE RW?

I had been working with a business coach from BOI, Sarah MacInnis, and she introduced me to the programs offered by Source RW.

What business topics have you addressed thus far?

I have met with Sarah and Mark for business coaching, participated in Kauffman, and have attended several of their Entrepreneur Indianapolis programs which spotlights local business owners. Through these discussions with business owners, I’ve learned to appreciate the importance of a mentor to a business owner’s success. There is real benefit in using your mentor as a sounding board in evaluating your ideas and thoughts.

What “one” thing stands out that you have learned at SOURCE RW, thus far?

I’ve learned to carefully think through every step of starting a company so that I can be successful.

How have you benefited from your time at SOURCE RW?

My experience at Source RW has been priceless. I really can’t put a price tag on all the things I have learned from Source RW. My goal is to take this knowledge and give back to future entrepreneurs.



SOURCE River West Adds New Entrepreneurship Services with Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Grant


SOURCE River West Entrepreneurship Center (SOURCE RW) is proud to announce that we were awarded a two-year, $125,000 grant from Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to expand services at the Near West side education and business support center, located at 2230 West Michigan Street. The grant will allow SOURCE RW to provide additional services, programs, coaching, and co-working space to support entrepreneurial ventures, start-up businesses, and existing businesses. 

With the Trust grant, SOURCE RW will create a seed fund for ready clients and businesses, expand SOURCE RW training and coaching schedules to include bilingual Latino business services, hire additional staff, and ensure that equipment and technology meet client needs.

“The Trust grant enables SOURCE RW to begin our second year with more services for all clients, and new programs to encourage and support business growth and diversity on the Near West side,” says Mark A. Roger, Center Director.  “We are attracting tremendous interest from within Near West and from surrounding neighborhoods. Over the last year, about 80 persons have received business coaching assistance and over 100 persons have attended SOURCE RW workshops and networking events,” says Roger. “We look forward to expanding services that embrace the diversity of Indianapolis’ Near West.  Bilingual Latino business services will enable us to serve the Hispanic/Latino community better, making SOURCE RW a hub for Latino entrepreneurship - not only on the Near West side but throughout Central Indiana.”

“During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities.  She had a keen awareness of challenges that face our community and would take great pride in the outstanding work being done by organizations SOURCE RW,” said Trustee Kent Agness. "Through her Trust, we continue to build on her legacy, which clearly reflects her heart for philanthropy."

In partnership with IUPUI, SOURCE RW was created in 2016 to support entrepreneurial ventures and start-up businesses that create jobs, improve quality of life, and strengthen the community in Indianapolis’ Near West side. The long-range goal for SOURCE RW is to contribute to the economic well-being of the Indianapolis community by decreasing business vacancy rates, increasing job opportunities through home-grown businesses, and increasing income levels of residents in the area by creating an environment that fosters entrepreneurship and supports business development.

Entrepreneur Spotlight

   Hannah Northup   , Strategic HR Consultant, NorthupHR

Hannah Northup, Strategic HR Consultant, NorthupHR

Hannah Northup, Owner of NorthupHR

Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Hannah Northup, Owner of NorthupHR and participant of fall '17 Kauffman Business Owners Education cohort.

NorthupHR offers strategic human resource services for the small to mid-size business. On-call and project-based HR services are designed to meet business needs with focus placed on providing excellent service in four primary areas: getting teams up to speed quickly, keeping employees happy, minimizing risk, and helping develop a team's in-house talent while growing the business responsibly.

What made you interested in business ownership?

I've worked as an HR executive for over a decade and was eager to partner with leadership and apply my skills to help them achieve their business objectives. Established HR firms have been growing as Indy's older start-ups mature, and I saw a clear need for services focused on small- to mid-size, growing companies.

How did you learn about SOURCE RW?

I had heard about SOURCE RW and indirectly knew the teacher, Denise Herd. She heard about my business concept and thought this class would be a great fit, and she was right!

What business topics have you addressed thus far?

With just a few weeks into the series, I have already learned the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, how to identify and meet market needs and how best to plan for my services.

What “one” thing stands out that you have learned at SOURCE RW, thus far?

Research is so important to every part of your business whether it is a product or service and making sure you understand that there are resources out there to help you.  It was inspiring to learn from my classmates research. I fully believe in the value of quality research and how vital it is to my long term, professional success.  

 What have you enjoyed most about being a business owner?

I've really enjoyed building relationships with a number of small business owners, and helping them find paths to achieving their goals. I LOVE owning my own time. I definitely have a much healthier work-life balance, flexibility to spend time with family, and much more productive time when I can sit down and focus on my clients.

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

I wish I had come to SOURCE RW and taken the Kauffman class so much sooner. Even if you're not ready to start your business, it is important to learn about the start-up process and do your market research early on. Also, unless you are a hyper-growth company with big investors pushing you, don't take debt or recurring expenses until you start generating revenue. That's great advice that some very good mentors shared with me, and I'm proud to have gotten it right.

Overall, how have you benefited from your time at SOURCE RW?

This experience has been amazing and it has been wonderful to have a community of people around me that have either been where I am or are walking the same path with me now.

Do You Practice Intellectual Humility?

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LinkedIn article written by James Vena

What makes a person label themselves an entrepreneur? Do they become tired of working for someone else? Are they in-between careers?

A person that labels themselves an entrepreneur is not a superhero nor do they possess superhuman capabilities that are out of reach to the aspiring entrepreneur. There are a number of things and words of wisdom that each aspiring entrepreneur should be aware on their journey to entrepreneurship. Truly knowing oneself is crucial to understanding the "whys" that spark the passion, leadership, and innovation that develop an entrepreneur's will to achieve.

In the LinkedIn article "What is Normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly (Understanding the "Inner Entrepreneur")," by James Vena, he discusses the meaning and significance of Intellectual Humility. As entrepreneurs, we use intellectual humility to strive to be lifelong learners, be persistent with our passions, and remain resilient against adversity. Read LinkedIn article here.

Parents-College Grads: The Resurgence of the Family Business

By: Mark A. Roger

Could you imagine working day-to-day with you son or daughter?  Would your father or mother make a good salesperson?  Have you ever considered investing in your family’s future by owning a business together? 

That’s right, the family-owned business is seeing a resurgence.  Though popular 2-3 generations ago, the idea of working with family members lost its luster in the business building of the 1980s. 

With a wealth of unpromising career opportunities in this post-recession economy, a growing number of job-seeking parents are partnering with their children to regain control of their professional futures.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment for workers over 55 is well over one year.  Further, The Associated Press, in 2014, ran a study that found almost 54% of those with bachelor’s degrees under the age 25 were jobless or underemployed, a substantial increase in the past decade.

Today, a significant number of unemployed baby boomers are seasoned executives who are challenged to re-invent themselves and re-invest in their futures. Of course, college graduates are leaving school with greater tuition debt than ever before (debt that will impact their accumulating net wealth and, consequently, hindering their ability to purchase a business, a house, a vehicle for years to come).  Couple that with a precarious job market for new graduates and you can understand why parents find value partnering with their children to invest in themselves either by purchasing a franchise or an existing business. 

There are business models that work particularly well managed by a multi-generational group.  Businesses that include inside management/outside sales and those that include multi-revenue streams providing varied tasks and work well.  Franchising, in particular, is a very successful route to start a family business simply because it provides a practical business roadmap and a clean slate.  Parent-college graduate partnerships find franchising: 

·         Offers proven and well established processes and easy-to-follow operating systems,

·         Combines the benefits of local business ownership with brand name recognition and applicable good-will, and

·         Provides ongoing guidance and support by an established franchisor so there isn’t a question as to best practices.

Regardless, if you are buying a franchise or existing business, identifying a business concept that allows everyone to leverage their skill set is imperative.  Though there is no “best practice,” I have found that often parents handling tasks that require local connections while the children take care of day-to-day operations and online marketing is an ideal arrangement to begin the journey into entrepreneurship.  Even in instances where the parent isn’t fully engaged in the daily business – leaving their child to run the operations – they should still have an interest in the concept and be able to utilize their experience or skills to provide support.  Parent and college graduate, both, need to be making an impact and commitment to the success of the family business.

5 Trends for Identifying a Successful Business

5 Trends for Identifying a Successful Business

By: Mark A. Roger

With well paying, career building jobs in short supply, business ownership is on the upswing. But, how does one find the right business that offers long-term financial security for them and their families in our new economy? I regularly work with individuals who are considering business ownership and the conversation always turns to the “financial security” question.

What product or service offers the best potential at the lowest risk?  Who specifically will want the product or service?  Can people be educated or influenced to purchase the service?  Is it a sound business idea?  How long will it take to ramp up the business? Needless to say, these questions can be overwhelming to those contemplating business ownership.

There are few “rules of the road” in evaluating the success of a business concept in our new economy.  Yet, companies possessing the following trends seem to have an advantage in the new marketplace. 

1)    Services that include protected technology provides an advantage.  A business with protected technology or proven processes limits the impact of competition and guarantees competitive advantage. Custom point-of-sale software and GPS tracking allows even a one person, home maintenance business to have an advantage.  Strong technology enhances new markets with unlimited growth and stresses the importance of innovation. 

2)  Strong brands possess strong financial models.  We learned though the recent recession to never underestimate brand loyalty users opting for Apple products.  Customers will pay a higher price – and preorder items months in advance -- to receive a proven and quality product or service.  Strong sales at strong prices leads to strong financials. 

3)    Mature products and services need a value proposition.  Over time, brands develop competitors - alternative products, services, technologies, suppliers.  Successful brands differentiate their business from their competitors.  Identifying the differentiated value – why a brand is “new”, “better” or “unique” -- is the universal, driving force behind the continual reintroduction of a product or service into the marketplace.   

4)    Products or services that fill a niche leads to referrals.  Does it address the needs of an underserved market?  Involve regulation changes?  Societal trends and demographic shifts can mean new and expanding industries as we are seeing in the senior care industry.   Senior customers not only seek products and services that avoid inconvenience, but reward trustworthy providers with endless referrals.

5)     Brands that diversify can more successfully survive economic volatility.  Businesses offering their customers multiple products and services are much better prepared for an economic downturn or changes in the market.  A diversified product or service offering means a business can shift focus from one product to another while minimizing the impact to the customer base or bottom line.  

There is certainly no “sure thing” when it comes to business success.  Yet, focusing on businesses which incorporate modern technology, innovative products and services, strong branding, and possibly within a niche market can offer an edge toward success.  These products and services will almost certainly be the ones which offer the strongest profitability and long-term financial security for business owners and their families.

4 Road Blocks to Business Ownership

4 Road Blocks to Business Ownership

By: Mark A. Roger

If you have dreamed of business ownership, you may have found a business concept that captured your interest.  Yet, after a short period of a few days or a week, that interest and even excitement was gone – even before you had done any serious research on the opportunity.  What happened?  You began to encounter road blocks.  These road blocks may appear to be overwhelming; however, understanding the primary concerns faced by business owners and evaluating the facts behind them will allow you to move forward in your entrepreneurial journey. 

There are four primary road blocks that you will most likely encounter.  When evaluating a business to own, be prepared to address these head-on: 

1)    Personal Expenses:  Understand your “roof & table”

How much money does it take to cover the cost of the roof over your head and food on your table for six months?  Though called “roof and table”, don’t forget to include all of your monthly expenses for six months – insurance, utilities, taxes, etc.  If I have learned anything from working with first time business owners, it’s to make sure you have money set aside for six months.  The #1 reason that new businesses fail is simply due to running out of money.  The stress of paying those expenses should not be where you are focused. You will have other concerns to interest you – trust me.     

2)    Personal Time:  Balance your work with your life

A lot of people seek business ownership in order to have more free time.  However - ask a business owner about the work schedule they actually keep and most often they will say “whatever it takes.” 

In a traditional business ownership model, you may be working 10-12 hours per day at times, but you have the flexibility and discretion in how you live those hours.  I chose to be a business owner 12 years ago when I was working 7am to 7pm in a corporate job and getting home as my kids were going to sleep.  Those years go by quickly and I wasn’t going to miss them.  Yes, I stopped work at 11am for a Veteran’s Day Celebration, but made up that time after dinner that evening.

There are also semi-absentee ownership models.  In these models, the owner works 10-15 hours per week once the business is up-and-running, leaving time for another job or obligation.  Though these types of ownership arrangements do exist, though they are more the exception than the rule. 

Remember, you are making a family decision.  A business of your own will affect your family as well.  Family members must know and accept the demands that business ownership will entail.   

3)    Business Plan:  Solidify your financials

You need to be concerned about your financial ability to not only start your business, but also to continue to operate it until it begins to make a profit.  Building a financial spreadsheet that projects out your first year will be key to your success.  Based upon projections, you will be able to breakdown your year into milestones and identify ramp-up time.  Enthusiastic entrepreneurs will project years 2-3 as well. 

You will want to know not only when you reach breakeven, but when you can begin paying yourself a salary.  Budgeting for and paying yourself a salary is fundamental to your happiness.  There are lots of unhappy business owners who have never earned more than a company vehicle and a handful of cell phones.  Being an entrepreneur is wonderful as long as your bills are paid and obligations met.      

4)    Sales Plan:  Identify your sales process and market position

Regardless if it is a product or service, you need to have a comprehensive sales processes.  Customarily, the business owner is tasked with marketing and promoting the business within the marketplace.  If you are not the “selling type,” you need to consider hiring a sales manager.

There are great products and services that go unnoticed every year simply because potential clients didn’t know they exist.  You need to know your target market well and where, when, why, how they source their information on purchasing comparable products or services.  Always keep in mind your value differential – what makes your product or service “new, unique or different.”  It may sound old school, but your potential clients need a reason to make a change in their buying practices.  

The best way to overcome road blocks, and that overwhelmed feeling, is through research.  Proper due diligence is critically important.  Having a working understanding of these primary road blocks will afford you the ability to conduct a more complete and thorough investigation of any business that you think may be right for you.  Most importantly, you may very well be able to move forward in your entrepreneurial journey and eventually be the business owner you have dreamt you would become.  

To learn more about overcoming roadblocks and how to find the right business ownership opportunity for you – please join us at Entrepreneurship Carmel Workshop Series the second Tuesday of the month from 6-7:30P at Carmel Clay Public Library. Register at