On March 11, the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership (SBERP) concluded its inaugural series of HustleSBE, a six-session business bootcamp specific to minority and women entrepreneurs across the five-county region and the first of its kind in the South Bend - Elkhart Region.
HustleSBE focuses on building the capacities of small businesses to scale beyond their current operations, regardless of industry. The first cohort included businesses from real estate, manufacturing, food, training/development, and government relations.
“HustleSBE has been a great opportunity to learn more about the fundamentals of operating a successful business and has allowed me to engage with accomplished business leaders who are part of our regional economy,” said Hodge Patel, managing partner of Capital Consulting Solutions, LLC. “Moreover, I have forged relationships with my peers that have resulted in new market opportunities and sales for both parties.”
HustleSBE was offered over the course of six months, with one day a month dedicated to interactive learning sessions focused on such topics as access to capital, becoming certified, financial management, and human resources. Between the in-person sessions, participants were part of an online community to gain real-time feedback and resources, as well as apply what they have learned in the previous session.
“We are encouraged by the first cohort of HustleSBE participants,” said Amish Shah, chairman of the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership's Diversity and Inclusion committee and CEO of Kem Krest. “As a new resource for women and minority business owners, HustleSBE’s cohort model has effectively delivered on our goal of providing access for participants - access to resources, contacts, and potential business.”
Applications for the next cohort, HustleSBE Sprint, are open until May 1, 2020. HustleSBE Sprint will run for six weeks, Tuesday evenings, beginning June 16, 2020. Interested parties should visit HustleSBE.org. There is a $50 fee for accepted participants, with participants receiving a $700 scholarship to cover the full cost of participation of $750.
South Bend - Elkhart Regional Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Facts:
- 13% of businesses are minority-owned
- 38% of businesses are women-owned
Two committees of the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership, Entrepreneurship and Diversity and Inclusion, are co-sponsors of the HustleSBE program. The Entrepreneurship committee, Startup South Bend – Elkhart, was formed with a mission to promote and foster the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the South Bend – Elkhart Region. The Diversity and Inclusion committee was formed to increase opportunities for women and minorities throughout the region.