of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
business plan competition could receive free rent somewhere in
Lots of people have ideas for businesses - from grandma’s cookie
recipe that everyone says you should sell to that gin bar you
really feel would draw the crowds - but how often do those
business ideas translate into reality?
And then how
can they stay in business, particularly in downtown Waukesha
where shops and restaurants open and close like a revolving
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.
mainly a Milwaukee entity, the group has plans to expand
westward into Waukesha, where Regional Project Director Amber
Miller believes entrepreneurs have great potential to grow.
“We help both
men and women, and our main goal is to help people figure out
how to start and grow their business,” Miller said. The group
has had success all over the state in cities like Milwaukee and
Madison with helping everyone from startups to established
businesses through group classes, small business loans,
one-on-one strategic planning and more.
In the coming
weeks and months, WWBIC will begin to offer more classes in
Waukesha, such as “Smart Style Business Planning” and “Exploring
Entrepreneurship: Do You Have What It Takes?”
you through the process of being a small business owner. Can you
work 60 hours a week and not see your family - can you not get
paid for six months?” Miller said. “People have this unrealistic
notion that they’ll make a million dollars and work one hour a
So how does
this help downtown?
Development Specialist Jeff Fortin said city staff hopes WWBIC
can fulfill some needs that have gone unmet since the Business
Improvement District was dissolved.
new business will come in and decide to just open up and see
what happens,” Fortin said. “Right now, they don’t have anywhere
to turn. But WWBIC will work with you to set up a business plan,
see if it will be successful and then check up on you every
will be available to help current and future business owners
citywide, Fortin said startups are often drawn to downtowns and
thus that will likely be where a large part of the group’s focus
for and received a $55,000 Community Development Block Grant to
put toward the challenge.
of Wisconsin-Extension also has a seat at the table and will use
part of the grant money to do a marketing research project to
see what the needs are in downtown Waukesha, Miller said.
WWBIC is partnering with Berg Management to offer a business
plan contest, the winner of which will receive a few months of
free rent as well as assistance from both WWBIC and the
UW-Extension, Miller said.
still being finalized, but Miller said it’s a great opportunity
for anyone with a unique idea for a business to make that dream
information, visit www.wwbic.com.