hub for entrepreneurs
hub for entrepreneurs
Our education and economic initiatives promote and encourage business ownership by assisting in the launch of entrepreneurial ventures and support start-up to scale-up businesses that create jobs, improve the quality of life, and strengthen the community in Indianapolis’ Near West and central Indiana.
In 2016, Local Initiatives Support Corporate (LISC) designated the Near West/River West a Great Place 2020 neighborhood. The Near West Quality of Life Plan was created by residents and neighborhood stakeholders in response to declining employment and business vacancies in Near West. The Steering Committee identified the need for an entrepreneurship center to serve as a catalyst for economic growth, and SOURCE RW was created to fill that need.
The IUPUI Office of Community Engagement supports the Near West Quality of Life Plan and River West Great Place on behalf of Indiana University by serving as fiscal agent to support the launch of SOURCE RW during the first two years of development. IUPUI provides staffing, planning support, grant management, and funding assistance.
Local businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to capitalize on the Near West’s commercial, retail, and light industrial spaces.
Small business owners who desire to improve and scale their existing businesses.
New businesses and Near West residents who wish to launch their own businesses in River West and/or surrounding areas.
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.
Week 1 - Exploring Entrepreneurship - February
Week 2 - Identifying/Meeting Market Needs – February 8
Week 3 - Setting Financial Goals – February 15
Week 4 - Planning the Product/Service – February 22
Week 5 -Researching/Analyzing the Market – March1
Week 6 - Reaching the Market – March 15
Week 7 - Building the Organization & Team - March 22
Week 8 - Planning for a Profitable Business – March 29
Week 9 - Cash Flow and Funds Seeking – April 5
Week 10 - Implementing Next Steps and Pitch Competition – April 12
SOURCE River West, 2230 West Michigan Street
6:00p – 9:00p Price: $149
For assistance, call 317.737.2155.
SOURCE RW provides free, bilingual coaching every Wednesday from 1-5 pm. We welcome existing and future Latino business owners needing language assistance for free and one on one business coaching. This new service will not only serve business owners on the Near West, but we look forward to eventually serving as the hub for Latino entrepreneurs throughout Central Indiana.
Appointments can be made by calling 317.737.2155.
Appointments are encouraged, but walk ins are welcome.
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.
"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.
Do you want to launch or scale your business?
One-on-one coaching and mentoring is available to provide technical assistance in identifying a viable business model, incorporating a business, creating a business plan and marketing products/services. Most all educational opportunities are either free or at minimal fee.
Monthly business start-up courses on a business owner’s mindset and fund sourcing, quarterly courses on business trends and best practices for existing businesses, and our annual Kauffman Business Ownership Education Series provides a strong foundation.
We encourage entrepreneurship within our neighborhoods and attempt to inspire new, successful businesses to set-up and hire from within the neighborhoods of Indianapolis' Near West. Making the most of the River West Business District.