NORTH MANCHESTER — Manchester Alive Main Street Chamber is hosting a countywide callout event for entrepreneurs on April 25 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Community Foundation of Wabash County.

The purpose is to identify what entrepreneurs need to succeed in Wabash County. Manchester Alive is one of four Community Champions of the NIIC Catalyze Northeast Indiana Pilot Program.

 Confirm attendance by sending an email to [email protected].

"Manchester Alive is committed to the creation and growth of small business throughout — not just North Manchester — but our county. The opportunity to partner with the NIIC and Grow Wabash County is a phenomenal way to extend support to the entrepreneurs who will indelibly change the trajectory of our local economy. We are excited to use these services as a new and innovative way to support the business owners that call North Manchester home," said Heather Cruz, executive director, Manchester Alive.

 The Catalyze Program includes three imperative components:

• Community-based and led by a local champion in collaboration with NIIC.

• Startups access to events, workshops and tactics for innovative entrepreneurship through a partnership with NEXT Studios.

• Customized to the community based on listening sessions, like the callout meetings, to identify a community's needs.

"We are happy to support and partner with Manchester Alive and the NIIC to host this entrepreneurial callout event next month. Entrepreneurship support is one of the five core pillars of Grow Wabash County that we have been spearheading for the last six years. So, we are thrilled to add this offering and potential new programming to the community," said Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO, Grow Wabash County.  

This collaborative work aligns with the county's overall strategy.

"This partnership between the NIIC and our business support organizations in the county [Manchester Alive and Grow Wabash County] supports several recommendations in the Imagine One 85 plan [the county's comprehensive strategy for reversing population decline in Wabash County]," said Alex Downard, director of Imagine One 85 implementation.

"The Imagine One 85 initiative is a symbol of our community's dedication to a collaborative, inclusive, and unified approach to growth and development through quality of life/place and the attraction and retention of talent. Communities with a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem are well-positioned for growth and prosperity. This program will support entrepreneurs across the entrepreneurial spectrum, including residents with a concept looking to further develop a business plan, as well as help our existing businesses re-imagine strategies for growth and development. I am excited to see the impact this program will bring for entrepreneurs in all of our cities and towns across Wabash County as we work to grow a more prosperous community," Downard said.

In January 2019, Manchester Main Street and North Manchester Chamber of Commerce joined to form one entity - Manchester Alive: Main Street Chamber Alliance. The alliance of two strong organizations creates a collaboration that offers better opportunities for economic and community development and more effective ways to promote the common business interests of North Manchester.