The Business Journal of Milwaukee
By Becca Mader
Owners of new businesses in the Milwaukee area who are navigating their growing pains can access ideas through a new group.
Emerging Entrepreneurs, a professional development group, will hold a kickoff event June 9 at Eve Restaurant, 718 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee.
Two Milwaukee entrepreneurs – Ben Sherwood of Sherwood Personal Security and Tracy Coenen of Sequence Inc. – are spearheading the group with support from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and Marquette University’s Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship.
“It will be a place where entrepreneurs in Milwaukee can be guaranteed to find other entrepreneurs with similar issues,” said Kay Bokowy, director of outreach at the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship. They can share common experiences within the safety of a smaller group. The group will provide “substance and support for new entrepreneurs”, something Sherwood said was not available from other groups when he started his business a year ago.
“There were no groups to tackle the tough issues new businesses face,” Sherwood said.
Each meeting will start with a brief presentation on a specific topic, such as marketing or financing, followed by breakout sessions. Members will discuss the concept and how they might apply it to their own business. Seasoned entrepreneurs will visit on a quarterly basis to aid in discussions.
Meetings will be held the second Monday of each month from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm and the fee is $10. The first session will feature Robert Auer of Auer Marketing LLC, who will speak about marking on a tight budget.
“(The group) is trying to compress that learning curve, which is slow and expensive,” said Pam Moss, MMAC’s director of membership programs and services. “The survival rate of new businesses can be positively impacted.”
Moss said the group will be complementary to the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, a group for entrepreneurs younger than 40.