Michiana entrepreneurs gather for the first ever Founder Factory during National Entrepreneur Month

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SOUTH BEND, Ind -- Michiana entrepreneurs participated in the first Startup Summit called Founder Factory for National Entrepreneur Month allowing locals to feed off of ideas from experts.

"Small business owners do the business, they don’t get a chance to sit and be in the same spaces and this is absolutely exciting and invigorating for me to be here today," said Co-Owner of Coleman Solutions LLC in Elkhart Stephanie Coleman.

Stephanie Coleman, an Elkhart small business owner says she heard about the event through the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce Levon Johnson, who's been a huge help to her and her husband since starting their cleaning company.

"We started the business in the middle of the pandemic," said Coleman.

August of 2020 is when Stephanie and her husband got the ball rolling and since then, they've recently reached the one year milestone but says there's no secret to making it this far during the pandemic.

"Our business is still small but it’s growing but we survived because we know our business," said Coleman.

During the summit, along with providing entrepreneurs the skills of financing, event speakers provided direct feedback to businesses.

Even those in small communites.

"Those that emerged during COVID, it’s really about you honing in on that one thing that you do really well. So for that woman who has the small business in Elkhart, it’s going to be what was that feedback, what were the things that you learned during the pandemic that will allow you to grow and be far more successful," said COO of Venture Noire Emma Willis.

After tonight, some left the with ideas that they'll take back to not just their own businesses but to their fellow entrepreneurs as well.

"The information we got today said, as a small business owner you’re not forgotten and that there’s a lot of support. In Elkhart County and the city of Elkhart, I know I have lots of support," said Coleman.


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