Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) serves to champion, catalyze and impact entrepreneurial culture and community through quality research and programming, innovative collaborations, creative resourcing, and information services in the field of entrepreneurship.
A government-run site, the SBA specializes in assisting current business owners as well as fledging entrepreneurs. It has over a dozen programs to help people get their businesses up and running. There are also plenty of business-related news items and an interesting section dedicated to exploring business opportunities.
A local resource for you right here on the campus of Grand Valley State University (GVSU). The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) enhances Michigan’s economic well-being by providing counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures, existing small businesses and innovative technology companies. With offices statewide, the MI-SBTDC positively impacts the economy by strengthening existing companies, creating new jobs, retaining existing jobs, and assisting companies in defining their path to success.
SCORE is a non-profit organization of successful retired entrepreneurs who advise up-and-coming business people about the keys to success. The organization is partnered with the SBA and has an extensive list of alliances among companies, both large and small.
GROW is a non-profit women’s business center that provides business training and counseling, networking opportunities, and financial resources to those wanting to start/expand their small business in the West Michigan region. GROW exists to provide education, connections, and resources to create and strengthen women-owned businesses. www.growbusiness.org
The Association of Small Business Development Centers acts as a hub to localized state development centers, accessed through the ‘Lead Centers’ link. There is little information on the home page, but once the state centers are accessed, a bounty of information is available regarding business in a specific state.
This site contains various resources for starting a business. It has guidelines for business planning, sample business plans, software, Internet resources, and strategy insight. www.businessplans.org
MoreBusiness’s tagline is “by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.” It contains articles written by business experts, along with templates for business plans, contracts, press releases, and checklists. It also contains a sizeable ‘How To’ section outlining other facets of entrepreneurship and business planning. www.morebusiness.com
This Web site has many articles, ranging from ‘Starting a Business’ to ‘Buying a Business.’ It also has information on starting an e-Business. One of the highlights of the site is the various calculators on the home page. There are calculators to compute starting costs, break-even points, and cash flows. www.bplans.com
The Web site of Inc. Magazine, Inc.com has hundreds of articles on topics such as starting up, recruiting, travel, finance, and sales. This site also features the ‘Inc 500,’ the top 500 fastest-growing, privately owned companies with links to information on each company. There are ‘How-To’ features on topics like setting up a new office or raising start-up capital. www.inc.com/home
The Online Chambers Web site does not contain business plan building information; rather it provides links to thousands of city chambers of commerce offices throughout the United States. Simply select the state, followed by the city, to find a local chamber of commerce that will assist in opening or running a small business. online-chamber.com/USA.html
The vision of the Business Plan Archive is to help future entrepreneurs. By allowing public access to an archive of contributed business plans, the site creators hope to enrich those who seek help when building their businesses.