INVANTI Cohort 2 Begins with Entrepreneurs from New York, Ireland, Miami, D.C., St. Louis, and Mishawaka

Supporting Small Businesses for the Future

Small businesses make up the backbone of our communities and our economy. Family-owned businesses employ over 60% of the US workforce, create 78% of all new jobs, and generate 64% of the United States GDP. But being a small business owner is difficult. Half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than one month, 36% have an issue meeting basic operating expenses, 46% have trouble accessing credit or capital to expand.

Small business owners have to constantly switch between working in their business and working on their business-this creates a huge opportunity to makes their lives easier. However, most of the entrepreneurship and innovation world is focused on building enterprise-level solutions, and while they have versions marketed to small businesses, they don’t really understand the reality and differences between a national enterprise and a main street business. We believe that there is an opportunity to learn from small business owners about their struggles and create ventures with solutions specifically aimed at them. Supporting these businesses can have a huge impact on the business owners, their families and their communities.

The Focus

Cohort 2 will look into a range of issues that face America’s small business owners. Managing finances and inventory, planning for growth and expansion, pricing and purchasing, training and retaining great employees, navigating permitting and regulations, and much more will be explored to find places where scalable ventures can be build to support them.

Why South Bend?

There is no better place to learn about the ups and downs of being a small business owner than a community where they play such an important role in our daily lives. South Bend has a vibrant small business scene, which will allow our Cohort 2 entrepreneurs the chance to learn what happens in the day-to-day of running a business. This insight, combined with the national level research and network that INVANTI has curated, is the secret sauce behind building a venture that resonates with individual customers but also has the ability to scale nationally.

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