Economic Development


Networking

The Entrepreneurs Club (E-Club) is an interactive and informative discussion group which connects those developing a business concept or growing an established business with resources. For more information about the E-Club of Van Buren County, call the South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce at 269.637.5171.

Inforum connects women through a network of thought leaders and to help members meet personal and professional potential and achieve success. www.inforummichigan.org. Annual fee and event fees required.

The Michigan PeerSpectives Network brings together eight to twelve qualified entrepreneurs for collaborative sessions. Owners, CEOs, and Presidents share their management challenges and problem solving ideas through confidential and structured roundtables led by a trained facilitator. Contact Melissa Angel at the SBTDC at 269.615.2804.
Professional and Executive Association of Kalamazoo (PEAK) provides a support network for women in professional, executive, and management positions. They have a monthly luncheon program. Annual and luncheon fee is required. Contact Melissa Angel at the SBTDC at 269.615.2804.

Southwest Michigan Professionals Network provides networking one evening per month throughout the year. Event fees may be applicable, but many events are sponsored. See LinkedIn to request an invitation, or contact Melissa Angel at the SBTDC at 269.615.2804.
The Michigan Rural Council (MRC) is a public/private partnership whose charge is to develop new, collaborative approaches to build sustainable communities and to enhance the future of Michigan citizens. The Rural Council focus on team building, education and information, technical assistance and leadership development. Through these approaches, MRC believes that Michigan can implement a comprehensive and integrated policy for building sustainable communities. www.rural.cedam.info/


People

Kinexus, a non-profit working in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, regularly convenes manufacturers to discuss and strategically address their challenges and opportunities for collaboration. To learn more, or to join the Southwest Michigan Manufacturing Forum, please contact Corey Carolla  here.

The workforce development division at Kinexus provides employer-customized trainings, incumbent worker training, recruiting assistance, pre-screened applicants, and presorted resumes. They also host job fairs and interview days. To learn more visit Kinexus.org or call 269-927-1064.

Pure Michigan Talent Connect is another resource to find skilled workers. www.mitalent.orgVan Buren Tech Center offers 29 different educational programs to high school students. Those students in turn look for opportunities to use those skills in the community in a related position. Areas of study range from computer networking to graphic design. For more information call 269.539.5323 or go to www.vbisd.org.

MRC Industries provides employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities by partnering with businesses. MRC Industries' business services include janitorial, assembly, packaging, sorting, bulk mailing and general labor. To learn more visit www.mrcindustries.org or call 269.343.0747.


Business Counseling

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) provides consulting and training services to small businesses. Contact your local SCORE office at http://www.scorekazoo.org/.

Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) provides consulting, training, technology commercialization and secondary research to new, growing and advanced technology companies. More information can be found at www.misbtdc.org or at 269-387-6004.

BRACE: Business Resource And Counseling for Entrepreneurs : Business Resources & Workforce Development

Lakeshore 504 Small Business Lending provides financing and re-financing for capital projects for small and medium-size businesses. www.lakeshore504.org or contact Julie Parker by phone at 616-392-9633 or e-mail.


Selling to the Government

Procurement and Technical Assistance Center assists businesses in selling their products and services to the nation's largest consumer, the government. Services are free of charge to companies located in Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren Counties. For more information, go to: www.ptacsofmichigan.org and www.aptac-us.org.