St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care
Press Release

Business Startup Bootcamp Planned

Program promotes entrepreneurship as way out of poverty.

By - Aug 6th, 2020 08:29 pm
Michael Morris speaks to mentors and experts in a training session at St. Ann Center, in preparation for this fall's bootcamp. Photo courtesy of the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care.

Michael Morris speaks to mentors and experts in a training session at St. Ann Center, in preparation for this fall’s bootcamp. Photo courtesy of the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care.

A program aimed at fighting poverty through entrepreneurship is coming to Milwaukee this fall. The BizStarts Institute Community Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs meets for six consecutive Saturday mornings beginning Sept. 26, at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care-Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave.

This innovative program is rooted in the work of University of Notre Dame Professor Michael Morris, who will be facilitating several of the sessions. Morris is world-renowned for developing training for people facing economic and other hardships in starting and growing a business.

“I see entrepreneurship as a source of empowerment, but its potential is grossly underrealized,” Morris said. “The poverty rate in the United States hasn’t changed meaningfully in 60 years, despite trillions spent in government programs. Seeing the potential of entrepreneurship to help people find a path out of poverty is inspiring and motivating to me.” 

Bootcamp students participate in intense, hands-on training in the fundamentals of launching and growing a viable business, taught by seasoned faculty, experts and successful entrepreneurs. Topics range from developing a business concept and understanding customers to designing a profit model, setting up operations, marketing your venture, and understanding basic financing.

When it comes to starting a business, Morris said, people who have experienced poverty have both disadvantages and advantages over those who have not.

“A person in poverty is often working two jobs, caring for extended family, dealing with serious distractions and has no economic safety net when things like COVID-19 happen,” he said, although  “to survive poverty, you have to be resilient, creative, adaptable and tenacious—good qualities in an entrepreneur.”  

Participants completing the bootcamp then receive a year of one-on-one access to experienced business mentors and consultants and connection to valuable resources.

The program costs $1,000; full scholarships are available for anyone who can demonstrate financial need.

To apply or learn more, call BizStarts at (414) 973-2334 or email psnyder@bizstarts.com.

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