Doing Business in Rural America
Small businesses in Waupaca are turning heads thanks to training at FVTC.
Last fall, the Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center launched a new training series for small businesses that has grown into a model for rural economic development. Eight area Waupaca businesses received the Small Business Design, Plan, and Grow training series from the Venture Center to help sharpen their competitive edge.
The training was made possible through a grant from AT&T and a partnership between the Venture Center, Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, and Waupaca Economic Development Corporation.
These interactive workshops culminated in the Venture Center’s first Business Design Showcase. Bill Zimmerman, owner of Office Outfitters in Waupaca, won first place for his business model presentation. “As a small business, I don’t have the cutting-edge planning tools and resources used by larger corporations,” says Zimmerman. “The workshops allowed me to view our business in an entirely new way, and that experience will pay tremendous dividends for years to come.”
The Venture Center also held a rural business tour during Global Entrepreneur Week in November to highlight the challenges of small business owners.
Spotlight on Entrepreneurship
The FVTC Venture Center was selected as 1 of 2 technical colleges in Wisconsin to highlight the impact of entrepreneurship training during Global Entrepreneur Week (GEW) in November. Among the guests was Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.
6 small businesses participated in a rural business tour during GEW in Waupaca: Ebel Yacht Works; Fremont Bait & Tackle/First Cast Tournaments; Furniture by Todd, Inspired by Nature; Mama Z’s Bakery; Office Outfitters; and The Millstone of Iola Mills.