hub for entrepreneurs
hub for entrepreneurs
Our education and economic initiatives promote and encourage business ownership by assisting in the launch of entrepreneurial ventures and support start-up to scale-up businesses that create jobs, improve the quality of life, and strengthen the community in Indianapolis’ Near West and central Indiana.
In 2016, Local Initiatives Support Corporate (LISC) designated the Near West/River West a Great Place 2020 neighborhood. The Near West Quality of Life Plan was created by residents and neighborhood stakeholders in response to declining employment and business vacancies in Near West. The Steering Committee identified the need for an entrepreneurship center to serve as a catalyst for economic growth, and SOURCE RW was created to fill that need.
The IUPUI Office of Community Engagement supports the Near West Quality of Life Plan and River West Great Place on behalf of Indiana University by serving as fiscal agent to support the launch of SOURCE RW during the first two years of development. IUPUI provides staffing, planning support, grant management, and funding assistance.
Local businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to capitalize on the Near West’s commercial, retail, and light industrial spaces.
Small business owners who desire to improve and scale their existing businesses.
New businesses and Near West residents who wish to launch their own businesses in River West and/or surrounding areas.
Entrepreneurship Indianapolis (E Indy) is a monthly, free series of standalone discussions addressing business ownership from concept, to start-up, to scaling a business.
The Entrepreneurship Indianapolis Discussion Series (E Indy) begins its second season in August. Our popular series combines the stories of local entrepreneurs’ journeys into business ownership with basic business education. Each session, we identify the trending businesses ideas, new business fundamentals and pertinent business struggles the entrepreneur addressed.
Workshops are scheduled 6:30pm - 8pm on the second Tuesday of the month at SOURCE River West. Featured guest speakers join the discussion to share their first-hand perspectives.
Starting at the Kitchen Table
September 11, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Presenter: Saidah Pearsall, Shea BODYWORKS
Wondering if your business idea is viable? Scrambling to figure out whom to ask to help you scale your business?
Join us as we follow a local business owner from concept to market. Saidah Pearsall launched her Shea BODYWORKS skin care line in 2014. She has learned everything from rebranding her business to repackaging her products the hard way – through trial and error. With a passion for “telling it like it is” and paying it forward, join us as Saidah shares her inspiring entrepreneurship journey from kitchen table, to special events, to retail stores, and eventually to online sales. This session will be full of great marketing tips and suggestions to make your business successful.
Benefiting from Indianapolis’ Opportunity Zone Strategy
August 14, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Presenter: Tedd Grain, LISC
Looking for an opportune location for your start-up? Trying to determine what local programs might help fund the scale-up of your business?
Join us as we discuss the exciting programs and public/private partnerships starting locally to foster entrepreneurship and employment. Tedd Grain, Deputy Director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Indianapolis (LISC), discusses how local businesses can benefit through the mobilizing of corporate, government and philanthropic support. With a passion for revitalizing communities and bringing greater economic opportunity to Hoosiers, Tedd will identify LISC’s focus on Opportunity Zones and innovative private market funding options.
Selecting the Right Encore Career for You
October 9, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Presenter: Bill Higgins, Hoodz
Going to Market and Promoting Your Business
November 13, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Presenter: Mel McMahon Stone, Indiana Originals
Identifying a “Best Fit” Business Mentor
December 11, 2018 | 6:30-8pm | FREE
Frank Davis, Circle City Rebar
Al Talison, Owner, Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc.
Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Al Talison, owner of Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc. which has been in operation since 1982.
What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefited?
At SOURCE RW I'm presently working with a Business Coach and have met with the Executive Director to discuss business development. It’s been working well. We have been spending time with my business finances which has always been a weakness for me. I’m also participating in SOURCE RW's business ownership series which I have found very beneficial.
What made you interested in business ownership?
I had never given thought to owning a business. But a friend--a mentor--told me that if I spent as much time in developing my own business as I spent in sales (in the late 70's-in Chicago) that I would probably be successful. I immediately started considering what type of business to open.
What have you enjoyed most about business ownership?
The joy of servicing a customer's needs, in the area of our expertise, and having them elated at the results. I have always appreciated the joy and freedom of determining my own destiny as a business owner.
What have you enjoyed least about business ownership?
I can't think of any negatives to owning my own business – at least not at this point.
Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?
Yes, only after I had down-sized the business, about 12 years ago, and I was doing all the work myself. It's pretty physical work and I was getting a little burnt-out. When the business was big and growing I never considered quitting.
Was there ever a point when you realized you had “made it”?
Yes, in the early 2000's we had large robust clients that we were servicing, and we continued to grow. But one by one we started to loose accounts--through no fault of our own--losing about 70% of our business, and I had to consider down-sizing. I really did have a few very large accounts that made up a majority of the business.
If you could tell aspiring business just one thing before their journey – that you had wished you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?
The importance of consulting with an accountant, attorney, and business consultant -- all of the A-B-C's must be followed to ensure success.
Do you want to launch or scale your business?
One-on-one coaching and mentoring is available to provide technical assistance in identifying a viable business model, incorporating a business, creating a business plan and marketing products/services. Most all educational opportunities are either free or at minimal fee.
Monthly business start-up courses on a business owner’s mindset and fund sourcing, quarterly courses on business trends and best practices for existing businesses, and our annual Kauffman Business Ownership Education Series provides a strong foundation.
We encourage entrepreneurship within our neighborhoods and attempt to inspire new, successful businesses to set-up and hire from within the neighborhoods of Indianapolis' Near West. Making the most of the River West Business District.
Phone: (317) 737-2155
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm