Indy Chamber, Kelly School of Business Indianapolis Helping Local Entrepreneurs Start With Solid Financial Plans

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A partnership between the IU Kelley School of Business Indianapolis and Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), a business unit of the Indy Chamber, will boost BOI's counseling programs for potential business owners by tapping into the expertise of one of the nation's top-ranked business schools.

BOI’s business coaches help entrepreneurs through the basics of both growing and starting a new business, and connect them with micro-lending resources for start-up capital.  Kelley School faculty in Indianapolis have helped refine BOI’s business planning and financial basics programs, and are working with BOI volunteers to strengthen their coaching efforts and help more local entrepreneurs succeed.

On January 17, the Kelley School hosted its first training session under this partnership, preparing a new group of volunteer coaches to mentor entrepreneurs with an emphasis on basic cash management.  

“Many of our clients have great ideas for a business and the work ethic to make their dreams a reality,” said BOI Executive Director Julie Grice.  “But without the know-how to craft a budget, to anticipate expenses and revenues, their efforts are likely to be for naught.  That’s where we come in.”

Armed with the expertise of Kelley School faculty, BOI’s cadre of coaches helped distill entrepreneurialdreams into realistic balance sheets.  The commitment of these volunteers – who include active entrepreneurs, current and retired business executives, and Kelley MBA students – may be only a few hours, but their collective impact will be significant.

“We know that the majority of new job creation in our economy comes from small business, and that a growing number of Americans have embraced self-employment even through the last recession,” said Todd Roberson, Senior Finance Lecturer at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis.  “If we can enhance their chances of success, it could mean significant gains for the local economy.”

Roberson, an entrepreneur himself, is leading the Kelley School’s role in the BOI partnership.

“An entrepreneur with basic business planning skills and financial literacy, equipped with even simple cash management tools, has a big leg up on someone armed with only an idea and optimism,” Roberson continued.  “At Kelley Indianapolis, we have faculty in accounting, finance, operations and management with the know-how to help – but of course, we aren’t able to screen and mentor hundreds of business owners.  By working with BOI, we offer our knowledge and amplify our impact by ‘coaching the coaches.’”

Interested in volunteering as a business coach?  Volunteers willing to devote at least 10 hours to helping a new business (or businesses) succeed in 2014 can contact [email protected] for more information – business/finance experience preferred.

About the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis
The Indiana University Kelley School of Business has been a leader in American business education for more than 90 years. With nearly 100,000 living alumni and an enrollment of nearly 8,000 students across two campuses, the Kelley School is among the premier business schools in the country. Kelley Indianapolis, based at IUPUI, is home to a full-time undergraduate program and four graduate programs, including master’s programs in accounting and taxation, the Business of Medicine MBA for physicians and the Evening MBA, which is ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Learn more at

About Business Ownership Initiative (BOI)
The Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and Central Indiana Women's Business Center (CIWBC), business units of the Indy Chamber, help every entrepreneur launch or grow their business by providing connections to resources and each other.  BOI offers free one-on-one counseling, small business workshops, and microloans. BOI is led by Julie Grice, Executive Director. For more information, contact BOI at 317-917-3266 visit their website at

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