Helping small businesses grow.

SBDC Self-Guided Comeback Kit

The Michigan SBDC launched a self-guided starting point for business owners looking to determine whether to continue with their business or close. This course is designed for Michigan small business owners and entrepreneurs who are working to come back from the impacts and effects of the pandemic. This learning module will help small businesses to […]

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems/MGFF

Our vision is a thriving economy, equity and sustainability through food systems rooted in local regions and centered on food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable.


“My passion is to make our product in the U.S. and help secure local, Michigan jobs.”– Karen Smoots One winter day several years ago, when Karen Smoots’ son took off his wet winter gloves after school, she smelled a horrible stench. After some quick investigating she realized that the odor was coming from his gloves, […]

Bogan Developments

Jamauri Bogan

When Jamauri Bogan started Bogan Developments LLC in March 2020, it was fairly important to do it right…the importance of the project couldn’t be overlooked—“affordable housing for all.” Bogan Developments is a newly formed real estate development company focused on creating affordable housing for all. Jamauri’s  real estate journey started in 2018 with several successful […]

Teresa’s Kitchen

Maria-Teresa Hernandez and Teresa’s Kitchen How do you go from making 100 tamales a week to making close to 700 tamales a week? You open a tamale business! That’s exactly what Maria-Teresa Hernandez did when she launched Teresa’s Kitchen in May of 2020. Hernandez, who says she suffers from depression, was actually seeking counseling when […]

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and small business startup tool for describing a company’s products, value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. It is recommend as a first step when starting a small business.

1 Million Cups

If you are an entrepreneur who wants to share your story with the Kalamazoo entrepreneurial ecosystem, it’s quick and easy to apply. Applying to Present is Easy! Complete and submit the application Next Opportunity: Wednesday, July 7, 8 a.m. Eastern Time at WMed Innovation Center 1 Million Cups is a free, nationwide program designed to […]

Global Clinical Connections

Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Global Clinical Connections is an international provider of clinical supply chain management services for companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. With an international presence in over 45 different countries Global Clinical Connections provides cost-effective services to small, medium, and large biotech and pharmaceutical companies who are: Developing drugs or biologics in Phase […]

Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund

The Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund, established in partnership with the City of Kalamazoo and supported by the Foundation for Excellence, is intended to be a bridge loan to provide local businesses time and opportunity to take advantage of the current COVID-19 SBA Loans, State, and Federal loan assistance programs. Guiding Principles of the fund […]

United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region

Mission: Drive impact by leading shared efforts that engage diverse people, ideas and resources. The Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund is intended to be a bridge loan to provide local businesses time and opportunity to take advantage of the current COVID-19 resources.

Sponsored by the City of South Haven, South Haven Chamber of Commerce, and Lake Michigan College.

Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.


WMU Business Connection logo

Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.


A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.


MEL logo

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.


Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo

The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

Buy Local logo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

SBDC logo

Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen