NWI BizHub launched in partnership with the Legacy Foundation, Crown Point Community Foundation, Unity Foundation of La Porte County, Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Center of Workforce Innovations. The website offers a free network of nearly 60 resources and tools to help businesses find answers to resolve problems as well as steps to help start-ups get operational.
“We are thrilled to host the launch of NWI BizHub during the E-Day event program,” said Lorri Feldt, regional director for the NWISBDC. “(It’s) so fitting that an engaging new online entrepreneurial resource hub should have its premiere at the E-Day Entrepreneurial Excellence awards.”
The idea for NWI BizHub originated from work now happening with the NWI Forum-led Ignite the Region initiative, which seeks to develop a long-term economic viability plan for Northwest Indiana.
“The Ignite the Region process showed that our entrepreneurial ecosystem was fragmented,” said Maggi Spartz, president of the Unity Foundation. “The lead task was to create a database or tool that would help entrepreneurs of any kind, find resources more quickly.”
Spartz said feedback from many entrepreneurs indicated most did not know where to seek answers to issues they faced.
“We heard it from almost every entrepreneur, ‘I didn’t know where to look for help,’ (or) ‘I stumbled around until I got lucky,’ (or) ‘It took a lot of time,’” she said. “We are fortunate to now have NWI BizHub to solve this critical need for our community.”
NWI BizHub is designed to assist entrepreneurs either to start or grow their business.
“The process of matching a small business’ needs to the right resource is simple, convenient, and easy-to-use,” said Donna Catalano, the network navigator for NWI BizHub. “Anyone can access the network by going to nwibizhub.com and clicking on resources in the menu bar, or the let’s work together button.”
She said the groups involved with the effort are actively recruiting area organizations to join the website’s network.
Carolyn Saxton, president of the Legacy Foundation, said the goal of the website is to develop an ecosystem, which supports “all entrepreneurs to become major players in the regional innovation economy.”
“We believe in the importance of equitable opportunity for all prospective and current business owners and NWI BizHub provides that access,” Saxton said. “We look forward to working with many owners in the Northwest Indiana region to help guide and support their continued growth.”
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