TEAM Approach Announce for Local Entrepreneurs


Public Event 

Wednesday,  Jan. 27th

 Alumni Room, Administration Building, IU-South Bend


January 14, 2016— For some, 2016 is the year they’ll start, or energize, a small business.

The timing couldn’t be better for such a New Year’s resolution.

There’s a new TEAM in place to help Michiana entrepreneurs tackle challenges like writing a business plan and filing taxes, while working with a limited budget.


TEAM approach
The Entrepreneurship Alliance of Michiana, or TEAM, is a newly announced partnership between the North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), SCORE, and the SPARK entrepreneurship-training program at Saint Mary’s College. All three programs have similar missions, helping small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in complimentary ways.

  • ISBDC, which has a local office on the IU-South Bend campus, offers expert one-on-one advising and a robust network of resources.
  • SCORE executive mentors help clients determine whether a business idea is viable and offer suggestions to strengthen business plans, which could help clients attain bank loans.
  • The SPARK program, offered by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) at Saint Mary’s, offers female entrepreneurs personal education, business training, and ongoing professional mentoring.

How to get started
Local entrepreneurs are invited to learn about TEAM, and its low-cost or free offerings, at informational event at 6 p.m., Wednesday, January 27 in the Alumni Room on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building at IU-South Bend, where ISBDC has its offices. In the meantime, you can reach out to ISBCDSCORE, or SPARK at

How TEAM works
Once a businessperson makes contact with one of the three organizations, the TEAM determines who to bring into the huddle to talk strategy. TEAM coaches then help entrepreneurs and small business owners with their game plans, so a great idea doesn’t fail due to poor execution.

“TEAM recognizes that many entrepreneurs could be best served by leveraging the unique strengths of multiple service providers. An active process of referral and collaboration between TEAM member organizations ensures that entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking guidance are connected with the best coach or coaches,” said Alan Steele, regional director, ISBDC. 

It worked for her
LaDawn White is an entrepreneur who received TEAM education and coaching from all three organizations. She is director of the Labor of Love afterschool program, expected to open soon at the Keith Giden Community Center on Western Avenue in South Bend. Her dream, which is buoyed by a strong business plan, doesn’t stop there. “The afterschool program will be one of many businesses under the structure of Labor of Love, LLC,” she said. “I seek to offer unique daycare and afterschool programming with a family focus, holding to the motto, ‘strengthening families one child at a time.’”

Future plans
The Entrepreneurship Alliance of Michiana plans to:

  • Conduct quarterly information sessions to introduce the services of member organizations, creating an easy “on ramp” to connect entrepreneurs to resources.
  • Collaborate with community partners to deliver additional programming of value to the entrepreneurial and small business communities.
  • Work together, with permission of clients, to provide seamless services through referrals and co-mentoring.

About North Central ISBDC: The ISBDC serves small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs through no-cost, one on one consulting and access to a comprehensive network of resources including market research, operational benchmarking, business valuation, and strategic planning. The ISBDC also connects clients to no-cost specialty advisors to assist with exporting, government contracting, and development of technology/innovation driven businesses.

About SCORE Michiana: SCORE Michiana is a nonprofit association of local volunteers with the mission to grow successful small businesses in Michiana. The chapter, formed in 1972, offers no-cost mentoring assistance and educational workshops.

About SPARK: The Saint Mary’s College Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative’s SPARK program is offered once a year. SPARK is an 11-week program intended to cultivate the entrepreneurial capacity of women with a combination of personal education, business training, and ongoing professional mentoring to sustainably advance beyond socio-economic boundaries to achieve self-sufficiency.