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Michiana 2027: Entrepreneurs leading the way in Mishawaka

MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Mishawaka was founded through entrepreneurship, and experts say entrepreneurs will lead it into the future.

Standing on the balcony of the 101Co3 working space, Managing Director Aimee Carroll sees Mishawaka’s past.

“The energy here is amazing,” Carroll said.

Inside the co-working space, Carroll sees Michiana’s future,

“The people here, the skill sets and the talent, and just the things that these people have going on just blows my mind,” Caroll said.

In May, Carroll helped open the space.

It grew rapidly, and now has 64 members.

The entrepreneurs, freelancers and free-thinkers all have 24/7 access to the desk space, meeting rooms, and coffee shop.

“It’s open, its collaborative. It’s bright, and it just kind of gives people that uplifting feeling that sometimes they need to get to the next step,” Carroll said.

That bright feeling is what the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce says will take St. Joseph County into the future.

 “We are really trying to create an entrepreneurial culture, really trying to create an environment where businesses can grow so right away,” Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jeff Rea said.

Rea says the days of one-company towns are gone.

While some entrepreneurial endeavors will inevitably fail, Rea says fresh ideas and risks will take local workers into the future.

“It’s new ideas. It’s new technology. It’s how we do things a little bit better. Most entrepreneurs for example are trying to solve a problem,” Rea said.

After all, problem solving is how 101Co3 began.

“We try to look at some of the things that might be holding people back, that might be a stopper in getting to the next step that they need, and having a space to work outside of their homes was one,” Carroll said.

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