(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) A new partnership between the IU Kelley School of Business Indianapolis and the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) of the Indy Chamber will boost BOI’s counseling programs for potential business owners by tapping into the expertise of one of the nation’s top-ranked business schools.
BOI’s ‘business coaches’ help entrepreneurs through the basics of both growing and starting a new company, and connect them with micro-lending resources for start-up capital. Kelley School faculty in Indianapolis have helped refine BOI’s business planning and financial basics programs, and will work with BOI volunteers to make their coaching efforts more effective – and help more local entrepreneurs succeed.
On January 17th, the Kelley School will host its first training session under this partnership, preparing a new group of volunteer coaches to mentor entrepreneurs with an emphasis on basic cash management.
“Many of our clients have great ideas for a business and the work ethic to make their dreams a reality,” said BOI Executive Director Julie Grice. “But without the ability to craft a budget, to anticipate expenses and revenues, their efforts are likely to be for naught. That’s where we come in.”
Armed with the expertise of Kelley School faculty, BOI’s cadre of coaches will help distill entrepreneurial dreams into realistic balance sheets. The commitment of these volunteers – who include active entrepreneurs, current and retired business executives, and Kelley MBA students – may be only a few hours or a single start-up, but their collective impact will be significant.
“We know that the majority of new job creation in our economy comes from small business, and that a growing number of Americans have embraced self-employment even through the last recession,” said Todd Roberson, Senior Finance Lecturer at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. “If we can enhance their chances of success, it could mean significant gains for the local economy.”
Roberson, himself a former entrepreneur, is leading the Kelley School’s role in the BOI partnership.
“Clearly, an entrepreneur with basic business planning skills and financial literacy, equipped with even simple cash management tools, has a big leg up on someone armed with only an idea and optimism,” Roberson continued. “At Kelley Indianapolis, we have faculty in accounting, finance, operations and management with the know-how to help – but of course, we aren’t able to screen and mentor hundreds of business owners. By working with BOI, we offer our knowledge and amplify our impact by ‘coaching the coaches.’”
The January 17th training session will be held on the IUPUI campus at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis offices, and will take place from 9:00am until 2:00pm. Volunteers willing to devote at least 10 hours to helping a new business (or businesses) succeed in 2014 can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information – business/finance experience preferred.