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Entrepreneurial Resources

There are lots of resources for people thinking about starting a business or a business wanting to be more successful, productive and competitive. Here are some good resources available in Michigan (and obviously available online everywhere).

The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development CenterTM (MI-SBTDCTM) enhances Michigan's economic well-being by providing counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures, existing small businesses and innovative technology companies.  With offices statewide, the MI-SBTDC positively impacts the economy by strengthening existing companies, creating new jobs, retaining existing jobs, and assisting companies in defining their path to success.

There are 12 regional offices and over 30 satellite offices, each providing counseling and training to small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the 83 counties in Michigan through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, such as the following serving Washtenaw County:

Biz Resource Center at Eastern Michigan University College of Business / Washtenaw Community College, 306 Gary M. Owen Building, 300 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, MI 48197   (734) 487-0355

2007 Guide to Starting a Small Business is a “must have” resource for anyone starting a business in Michigan.

There are also tons of opportunities to learn how to start a new business, cheap, through the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center Calendar of Events

Seminars Available, at multiple locations, include:

·         How to Start a Business,  2.5 hours, $25

·         Nuts and Bolts of Small Business, 3 hours, $35

·         Business Basics, 3 hours, free

·         Developing Your Business Plan, 3 hours, $45

·         Business Plan Nuts & Bolts, 3 hours, free

·         Small Business Seminar: Business Plan Basics: 2.5 hours, free

·         Vision to Reality, 2.5 hours, $30

·         Vision to Reality II, 2.5 hours, $60

·         Business Research Essentials, 2 hours, free

·         Bringing Innovation to Your Business, 1.5 hours, $35

In Washtenaw County (home of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Wolverines), you will find SPARK Central, which they describe as "Home to Entrepreneur's Boot Camp and Business Accelerator. Base for IT Zone events and administration. Located in central Ann Arbor. 330 E. Liberty, Lower Level, Ann Arbor, MI  48104"

Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest in Ann Arbor conducts a business plan competition with volunteer teams assigned to help the budding entrepreneur refine his/her/their business plan. The participants may win prizes, but there are no losers, as all refine their business plans and get much valuable advice from experienced volunteers.

The New Enterprise Forum provides opportunities to network with suppliers of goods and services to new enterprises, while the main focus is to link new enterprises with capital sources.

The Ann Arbor IT Zone provides training and networking opportunities for technological oriented new enterprises.

The Small Business Administration
also has tons of FREE online courses
  As they say in the Upper Peninsula (yes, my boyhood home, which makes me a Yooper), “Anything free is worth saving up fer.”