On Thursday, February 28th local entrepreneur’s and aspiring business owners got together for the JumpStart Entrepreneur Conference put on by the eTeam and the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce. This event was a resource and celebration of the local and regional people brave enough to pursue their dreams of owning and running their own businesses.
The conference brought together several young business owners who had left the relative security of working for someone else to pursue their own dream and vision of working for themselves. The day started with a panel of young professionals who gave insight on how they were able to turn their experiences into profitable businesses. Afterwards there was a chance for the audience to ask questions and there was a great discussion of how to brand your business, how to use your for profit to fund your non-profit, and on how to use free and local resources to help push your businesses even further.
After the panel several breakout sessions were held to help attendees focus on ways to build their businesses and ways to streamline them so they are more effective in the age of social networking and social marketing. From tax planning to government contracts and all the way to how to plan business taxes these sessions offered advice and tips from experts in their fields on ways to ensure that a business is built with a solid foundation.
After lunch there was a keynote from Dave Zilko – Vice Chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet business born and built in Michigan. His keynote focused on how he turned something that began as a hobby in his kitchen into an internationally successful business thanks to a great product, smart business partnerships, and the willingness to take strategic risks.
The afternoon ended with the presentation of the 2012 JumpStart Awards which recognized several local businesses for their continuing contributions to Flint and Genesee County.
e-Team Spark Award Winners
The SPARK award was created to honor start-up businesses that have been operating for less than two years
CB Watson Fine Art Studio
Consolidated Barber Shop
Little Cottage Services
Made From The Heart Custom Designs
Mark3 Graphic Design
New Thought Movement
Our Home Transitional
eTeam Rising Star Awards
The Rising Star award is designed to shine the spotlight on growing businesses in Genesee County, the source of most new, sustainable jobs and an economic force in our regional quality of life
C&S Engineering Solutions, LLC
Commerce Connect, LLC
Lifestyles Flooring and Design
Power Source Electric
Pure Bliss Spa
If this year’s JumpStart Conference proved it’s that there are enough local resources and mentors for this region to continue to be a hotbed for the entrepreneurial spirit.