Wheeling Heritage, RED Launch Program for Entrepreneurs

Wheeling Heritage and Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED) are bringing CO.STARTERS, a program for entrepreneurs and small business owners, to Wheeling. The program equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.

Those who have a project idea or want to expand a current business can apply at wheelingheritage.org/costarters. The cost to participate, including materials, is $200. The program will meet every Tuesday evening for nine weeks, beginning March 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Orrick, 2121 Main St. Applications are due March 6.

Drawing from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and start-up veterans from around the globe, CO.STARTERS walks creative small-business owners through lean, effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, and with the help of a supportive community. Rather than treating a start-up like a large corporation and writing a detailed business plan, CO.STARTERS participants are encouraged to build and test small models first. In the process, participants receive real-time customer feedback, update their models to meet customer needs and avoid creating businesses based on incorrect assumptions.

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“We hear from a lot of entrepreneurs that they have an idea to either start or expand a business, but they aren’t sure where to start. We want to provide resources and help them make connections, so entrepreneurship can continue to grow in Wheeling,” said Alex Weld, program and outreach manager for Wheeling Heritage.

Small business remains one of the fundamental economic drivers for local economies and job creation, but these smaller-scale startups have not received the same level of support as their high-growth counterparts. CO.STARTERS aims to narrow that gap.

“Small businesses help to create the culture of our community,” said Valerie Piko, small business coordinator at RED. “As we see more entrepreneurs opening up shop in the area, this program will help to ensure their longevity and success.”

To learn about CO.STARTERS in Wheeling, visit wheelingheritage.org.