Chamber provided 10,000 hours of free coaching & classes, delivered $18M in capital support, helped 1,700 companies total in 2016 while expanding across the metro
(INDIANAPOLIS/AVON, Ind., February 14, 2017) After a successful 2016 supporting small and start-up companies, the Indy Chamber has struck a new partnership with Ivy Tech Community College to bring microlending and other entrepreneurial resources closer to small businesses in Hendricks County and the western suburbs of the Indianapolis region.
A business coach from the Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) will have a regular schedule at Ivy Tech’s Beechwood Centre on its Hendricks County (Avon) campus, offering free one-on-one coaching to small business owners and entrepreneurs and managing its microloan program, which makes low five-figure (average) loans to young companies that may not meet traditional lending standards.
“2016 was another year of remarkable results for our Entrepreneur Services team, which is growing – just like the employers they serve,” said Michael Huber, the Indy Chamber’s President & CEO. “They focus on the companies that create 80% of our region’s new jobs…the businesses that already call Indianapolis home, and reward our efforts in coaching, microlending and other initiatives with a major impact on our economy.”
Last year’s activity from BOI, the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, Hispanic Business Council and other programs merged under the Indy Chamber ‘Entrepreneur Services’ division led to:
- 5,030 hours of free, one-on-one business coaching, with another 5,300+ hours of workshops and classes aimed at small business issues and entrepreneurial education;
- $285,000 in microloans via BOI’s direct lending program, backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration along with corporate and non-profit investors;
- Another $17.8M in capital support, from providing loan preparation and other technical assistance, connecting employers with other investors and early-stage funding resources;
- Hosted 5,320 hours of workshops, classes and other programs for small and start-up businesses;
- Served 1,145 employers and entrepreneurs with coaching, while another 1,752 attended the programs described above; directly supported 78 new business starts.
With the Ivy Tech partnership, these services will be more accessible to businesses in and around Hendricks County, following similar arrangements with OneZone (serving Carmel and Fishers) and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce announced last year.
“Our business coaching has always been available to companies throughout the nine-county metro,” said Carrie Henderson, President of BOI with the Indy Chamber. “But we’re pushing to make entrepreneurial resources visible and convenient across our region…the life of a business owner is hectic, and if we expect them to search us out and schedule a meeting downtown, we’ll miss opportunities to help them expand, hire and invest.”
Greg Cook, campus president for Ivy Tech’s campuses in Hendricks, Putnam, and western Marion Counties, welcomed the coordinated effort to bring coaching and microlending programs closer to employers west of Indianapolis.
“Hendricks County is growing, creating opportunities for businesses that know how to reach new customers while being smart about cash flow and other challenges,” noted Cook. “A business coach has to be an educator and an advisor, so it seemed very logical to host this effort on campus.
“This partnership can also be a very positive one for Ivy Tech,” Cook added. “The companies being coached or applying for microloans today may be recruiting our graduates in the near future. And our students themselves are hard-working, motivated, focused on building a brighter future – they may want to explore their own entrepreneurial dreams. It’s closely aligned with the College’s mission of serving communities across Indiana.”
Indy Chamber business coaches are available via appointment to serve the needs of new clients; the initial schedule for Ivy Tech’s Hendricks County campus is every Friday, 10:00AM-3:00PM at the Beechwood Centre (7508 Beechwood Centre Road, Avon). Learn more about the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services at IndyChamber.com and businessownership.org; coaching appointments can be scheduled online or by calling 317.464.2258.
With entrepreneurial and small business support a priority for the Indy Chamber’s ‘Accelerate Indy’ economic development strategy, and BOI entering its second year as an SBA lending partner, 2017’s outreach and activity level is expected to exceed 2016.
“We set a high bar for Entrepreneur Services in 2016; with our partnerships with OneZone, the Greenwood Chamber and now Ivy Tech, we expect to clear it again this year,” finished Huber. “Focusing on homegrown enterprise is a smart economic strategy, and a new spin on the Chamber’s mission for more than a century – helping local companies succeed.”
About The Indy Chamber:
The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 2,000 businesses in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. For more information, visit IndyChamber.com.
Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) is a wholly owned not for profit subsidiary of the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division, which includes the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC), a program partially funded in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Joe Pellman, Indy Chamber, 317.464.2251,
Chris Watts, CVR Public Relations, 317.514.3184,