A Guide When You Need One

A Guide When You Need One

Small Business Coaching Programs on the Rise
By Nick Dmitrovich with input from the Indy Chamber & the Indiana Governor’s Office


It’s not always employees that need training – sometimes an entire company could benefit from a little guidance. This is especially true among young companies and small businesses, which make up the vast majority of employers in our state, and have been advancing rapidly with the technology boom that Indiana has been experiencing over the past year or so.

Along with this upswing, there has been a corresponding increase in demand for small business development services like business coaching & administrative educational opportunities. Numerous Hoosier organizations have been launching programs aimed at meeting this demand.

Recently, to support business coaching and company training, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust announced a $100,000 grant to the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) for business coaching services.

While the Indy Chamber’s economic development team works to attract new opportunities to the region, its Entrepreneur Services division – including BOI – focuses on the success of existing companies to drive employment and investment. More than 80% of all metro job creation comes from these enterprises, especially smaller firms – eight of every ten Indy businesses have less than 20 employees.

BOI provides one-on-one business coaching, organizes educational opportunities, and administers the nation’s largest Chamber-affiliated microloan initiative; this SBA-backed effort provides small loans (typically in the low five-figures) to growing employers that may not meet traditional lending standards.

“The Pulliam Charitable Trust’s generous support of business coaching is absolutely critical,” said Carrie Henderson, President of BOI.  “Our coaches work one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs every year, helping with everything from business planning to cash flow management to connecting them with other resources, including our micro-lending program.”

Henderson explained, “Business coaching capacity is our urgent need; knowledge is power, and expert coaching empowers small employers and entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level.  The Pulliam Trust grant will support hundreds of hours of additional coaching time and access to resources for these companies.”

Over the last year, the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division has provided more than 10,000 hours of coaching and classes.  By increasing its grant support from $60,000 in 2015 to $100,000 this year, the Pulliam Charitable Trust is helping BOI meet growing demand for these resources from the metro business community.

In several announcements that have taken place over the last few months, it would appear that programs like the Indy Chamber’s BOI tie in well with a much larger trend sweeping through the state. Former Governor Mike Pence announced plans last year to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in Indiana, and a major component of those plans involve boosting small business resources. Specifically, the program impacts small businesses with factors like:

  • Expanding opportunities for small businesses by integrating resources and micro-lending initiatives to encourage local community development while developing new programs to increase opportunities for all Hoosiers to start and a grow a business.
  • Supporting education, research, and entrepreneurial practice at Indiana’s higher education and research institutions by leveraging strategic partnerships to support and expand current innovation and entrepreneurship programs, advance research initiatives and programs like the Purdue Foundry Accelerator with embedded Entrepreneurs in Residence, and establish a system for sharing best practices across the state’s network of private and public institutions.

As part of the initiative, the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) and its programs, including the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and Small Business Ombudsman, will transfer from the Office of the Lt. Governor and integrate into IEDC to align and enhance effectiveness of the state’s efforts, creating a one-stop shop of resources, experience, and information for entrepreneurs and job creators at all stages of growth and development, partners, and investors.

Speaking on this transition, Governor Eric Holcomb said, “The Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and its programs including the ISBDC, PTAC, and the Small Business Ombudsman have flourished within our family of agencies. With the OSBE team officially joining IEDC, the state will be able to expand our ability to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and strengthen our relationships with Hoosier entrepreneurs. With these goals, we will work together to ensure Indiana continues to be THE state for innovation and entrepreneurship.”


How Can Your Small Company Get Some Business Coaching?

It’s as easy as contacting one of the many business development centers found throughout the state. Many of them offer their services for free, and almost all of them offer additional services beyond coaching. There are educational seminars, networking opportunities, workshops, and so much more available to Hoosier companies. All you have to do is call.

Take a look at some of Indiana’s leading business development centers:

  • Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative – Indianapolis
  • Indiana Small Business Development Center – Locations statewide
  • Center of Workforce Innovations – Valparaiso
  • Northeast Indiana Innovation Center – Fort Wayne
  • Action Coach – Merrillville
  • Grow Your Business Coaching – Indianapolis
  • Inspire Results Business Coaching – Mooresville
  • Reachmore – Online service, based in Indianapolis
  • Accent on Business – Carmel
  • Paragraphs 22 Coaching & Consulting – Fort Wayne