Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.


Black Entrepreneur Business Academy Mentor Search

The Black Entrepreneur Business Academy is searching for mentors for their inaugural cohort. Currently, there are 10 individuals who are participating in the program. Our goal is to match the cohort members with mentors who can help hold them accountable to what they have learned in the program and provide support.  The program is designed for Black entrepreneurs to assist in getting representation and access. Therefore, we are looking to find Black/African- American and or individuals who identify as people of color to be mentors for representation purposes.

The sessions are broken down into a one-hour instructional video, available to begin viewing on Saturday each week, and a one-hour hands-on live worship on Thursdays each week, anticipated to be at 7:00 pm EST. Upon successful graduation, each participant will have a chance to pitch for up to $5,500 in capital.

Mentorship will begin mid may with touch points throughout the summer both with the mentees and the program designers. If you are interested in being a mentor for our cohort and or have questions, please feel free to reach out to Nicole Parker.

Contact Information

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.


WMU Business Connection logo

Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.


A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.


MEL logo

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.


Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo

The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

Buy Local logo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

SBDC logo

Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen

Score Kalamazoo logos

If you have any questions about starting, growing, or anything business related SCORE Kalamazoo/SW Michigan is a great resource.

—Taylor Kallio

The Fetzer Center has anything you could ever want for any occasion. The facilities are beautiful, the food is great and the staff is excellent! I have hosted an event and been to an event at the Fetzer and both experiences have been excellent. Mary does a marvelous job!

—Diane Holmes