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Organizations, businesses working to continue entrepreneurship in Indiana

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Posted at 8:42 PM, Jun 25, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — Entrepreneurship is a major contributor to the economy and the state of Indiana. It’s a trend in the economy that organizations, as well as companies, are trying to continue.

Since 2000, the Indiana Black Expo has held its Youth Entrepreneur Series. Students who are all 18 and under learn the foundation of how to take an idea and turn it into a business.

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"We want to make sure that we equip and cultivate our youth to be successful entrepreneurs in the future,” Edward Rogers, Youth and Family Programs Director for the Indiana Black Expo, said. “That way when you think about economic development here in Indiana, we are grooming our future leaders in the community our future business owners."

Some of the kids have some big dreams they are looking to accomplish. Some are following their passions.

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"Clothing has really grasped my interest and now I want to pursue that as what I want to do in entrepreneurship,” Adriana James, a Pike High school student who is starting his own clothing line, said.

Others want the freedom and opportunity that comes with being an entrepreneur, like helping those in their community.

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"When you are an entrepreneur, you can wake up at four in the morning and start earning money, go to sleep at 12 and still have earned money that entire time,” Eric Whisler, a Pike High School graduate with his own clothing line and mentorship program, said. “You get to earn money but if you set it up the right way, you get to create job opportunities for other people.“

Just last month, the state of Indiana, along with Elevate Ventures, announced a new growth fund.

The fund is for what's called series b companies, or companies that already have an established customer base in the market they compete in.

Those companies often need millions of dollars in investment to grow — Something Indiana didn't have the capital for until now.

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"The growth stage fund will help our companies turn in to acquirers versus the acquired, then also to recapture more of that wealth when those companies exit and recycle it in our next generations of the winners,” Christopher Day, CEO of Elevate Ventures, said.

According to Elevate Ventures, Indiana is only one of six states to have an influx of tech and tech related jobs. They say it is because the environment that Indiana has created.

The company says that infrastructure, talent, mission critical industries, technology, lifestyle, cost of living and regulatory environment all play a factor in making Indiana a good place to start and grow a business.

With the continued attraction in the entrepreneurial tech sector, it's something the company says will benefit the state.

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"It will absolutely bring more high paying jobs to Indiana,” Day said. “Helping us keep more talent. So, when you think about talent acquisition talent retention, it will absolutely give people more options to have great careers right here in Indiana."

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Elevate Ventures says that 64% of all new jobs are created by businesses five years or younger.

The Indiana Black Expo has resources for entrepreneur. You can find more information by clicking here.