Entrepreneurial program at DCEDC helps local businesses open and grow | Green Bay Press-Gazette
The Entrepreneurial Training Program is for existing businesses hoping to grow and those who want to open a business. It helps participants develop a business plan and other vital aspects of ownership.
ELLISON BAY – About four years ago, Carol Ash was looking to expand her business and move it into a new building. To help make that happen, she did what she now says is “the smartest thing I’ve ever done.”
Ash and her husband, Christian, own Kick Ash Products, which started in 2014 as the maker of Door County Love Artisan Granola and since has added Kick Ash Coffees roasted by Christian, trail mixes and gluten-free baked goods to its product line. The Ashes opened a retail store, Kick Ash Door County, in Sister Bay in 2017 to add to its wholesale business but soon found they needed room to grow.
That’s where the Entrepreneurial Training Program came in.
Hosted by the Door County Economic Development Corp., the program has been held each spring since 2012. It consists of one three-hour class a week for eight weeks, facilitated by business experts from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Small Business Development Center, which offers the program in 12 northeastern and eastern Wisconsin counties. Over that time, 120 people have graduated from the Door County program, which includes scholarships and grants for its students.
Tara Carr, director of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Small Business Development Center, said the classes cover all aspects of owning and running a business, whether small start-ups or larger, million-dollar businesses. She said about half of the students taking the program are owners of existing businesses, the other half being people who are starting one or are interested in starting.