Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.

Business Model Canvas – Is Your Business a “Go” or a “No-Go”?

Lake Michigan College South Haven 125 Veterans Blvd, Room 141/142, South Haven, MI

This workshop will provide you with a tool to draft a roadmap for your business. During this session you will: Learn the different elements of developing your own business plan Learn how to grow your business by recognizing the key areas for improvement Learn how to create a one page business overview to help guide […]

Board Basics

Kalamazoo Central Library 315 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo, MI

Join Hether Frayer of Columinate to learn about the roles and responsibilities of board members, how to foster a positive board culture, and simple tips and tricks to help your organization run effective and efficient board meetings.

QuickBooks – Session 5

This is the fifth of eight webinar sessions covering QuickBooks. In this session, we will cover the following topics. Understanding Your Numbers A solid understanding of financial reports will have more insight into improving company performance. Learn how reports can detect upcoming cash flow problems, point out top customers, identify best selling products and services, […]

QuickBooks – Session 6

This is the sixth of eight webinar sessions covering QuickBooks. In this session, we will cover the following topics. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Begin to enter transactions related to customers and product sales. Customize and save reports related to accounts receivable and sales, and discuss the changes that take place with the Balance Sheet and Profit […]

Marketing Basics – Your “Marketing 101” Guide

Lake Michigan College South Haven 125 Veterans Blvd, Room 141/142, South Haven, MI

Learn the basics of developing and implementing a successful marketing plan for your small business. arn what it takes to start a business and how to take the next steps in the journey. During this session you will: Understand the importance of creating a marketing plan for your business Understand what goes into an effective […]


Alternative Funding Options for Businesses in the “Missing Middle” Gap

Speaker: Hannah Fernandez, SCORE Chicago Chapter Chair, Founder of ROI Business Funding In this webinar, you will understand the funding options in the missing "middle gap" where the cap amount is too small for a traditional bank or too big for a microfinance institution or nonprofit lender. You will learn how to identify which funding […]

Build a Board Governance Framework

Kalamazoo Central Library 315 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo, MI

Effective boards empower excellent Executive Directors and have strong systems for ensuring accountability and transparency. Join Heather Frayer for this informative, engaging exploration of ways your board can be an excellent employer to your Executive Director by building a governance framework.

QuickBooks – Session 7

This is the seventh of eight webinar sessions covering QuickBooks. In this session, we will cover the following topics. Budgeting Learn about projecting your income and expenses and comparing to actuals and review the set up and management process of a budget. Sub Customers & Projects Learn how to manage projects and customers with multiple […]

SBA and Southwest MI SBDC Meet the Lender

WMed Innovation Center, 1000 Oakland Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-1282

By Southwest Michigan SBDC Meet with area banks and credit unions to discuss your business lending needs and find a lender that is a match for your business! Please be prepared to speak with lenders. This includes bringing copies of your current business plan, cash flow projections and your credit score. If you need assistance […]

QuickBooks – Session 8

This is the eighth of eight webinar sessions covering QuickBooks. In this session, we will cover the following topics. Inventory Management Learn about the difference between the four types of items covered in the Products and Services section. Fixed Assets Fixed Asset management is important for all business owners to understand. We recommend business owners […]


1 Million Cups Kalamazoo

1 MILLION CUPS is a free, nationwide program designed to educate, engage and accelerate early-stage startups. We believe in the notion that entrepreneurs can discover solutions and thrive when they collaborate over a million cups of coffee. Drop in on our community of innovators and entrepreneurship enthusiasts to connect and support our local startups. Meetings […]


Accounting Basics for your Business

Lake Michigan College South Haven 125 Veterans Blvd, Room 141/142, South Haven, MI

To provide business owners basic accounting knowledge to start up or run a business. During this session you will learn: How to set up a chart of accounts How to develop a simple income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement How to review the basics of a financial statement

Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

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