About the Entrepreneur Project

During Main Street’s Entrepreneur Project (E Project), members of all abilities learned, connected and grew with experts and peers who helped them on the road to entrepreneurship. In this eight-session series that ran from June – August 2020, Main Street provided speakers, insights, resources and support for those who wanted to explore starting a business.

The experienced lineup of speakers included:

Sharon Cichy, Chief Strategy Officer, Main Street Connect
Jillian Copeland, Founder, Main Street Connect
Amy Fredenburg, Founder, Twisted at the Wharf
Lisa Friedlander, Business Development Manager, Next
Scott Gladstone with Lennie Gladstone, Founder, SOS
Aviva Goldfarb, Director of Marketing, Hip City Veg
Rusty Greiff, EdTech Investor and Entrepreneur
Laura Gross, President, Scott Circle Communications
Diego Mariscal, CEO & Chief Disabled Person, 2gether
Ilene Miller, Founder, IPM Consulting
Donna Oetzel, Executive Director of Branding & Marketing, Streetsense

Entrepreneur Project Videos and Resources

What Does It Really Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? 

Amy Fredenburg, Diego Mariscal and Scott (and Lennie) Gladstone each have a compelling story about their journey to entrepreneurship. Each of their businesses were very different and each provides some great inspiration to keep in mind as we embark on becoming an entrepreneur.

Resources from this session: Slides

Getting Started

Now you have your idea in mind, how do you actually go about getting started? We will hear the behind the scenes stories of how Jillian  Copeland and Sharon Cichy became entrepreneurs, how they took their ideas and turned them into businesses and what they learned along the way. They will touch on the importance of market research and the need to understand what you will provide in the marketplace that is different from what is already in existence.

Resources from this session: Slides

Plan of Attack: Make it Legal

What is your plan of attack and what aspects of your business might require legal advice? We will learn from experts in their respective fields, Lisa Friedlander and Rusty Greiff, who will share their journey to entrepreneurship. Lisa and Rusty will discuss what to think about when it comes to really taking your idea to the next stage of development including the importance of a business plan and what you may need to do to legally protect yourself.

Resources from this session: Slides from Rusty Greiff, Slides from Lisa Friedlander

It Takes a Village

You have all heard the phrase “It takes a village”, but what does that mean for starting a business? Amy Fredenburg and our very own Jillian Copeland will share how they used their communities, their networks, family and friends to get their businesses off the ground.

Resources from this session: Slides, It Takes a Village Template

Pilot Your Idea: Taking Flight

Now that you have established a plan and learned what else is out there in the marketplace, do you need capital to start this business? How will you get started? We will explore what you can you do to pilot or test your concept. It’s important to do surveys or test market your idea to ensure you are on the right track. There are many things to explore and experiment with as you get ready to gather data and learn how your idea will be successful. Ilene Miller and Lisa Friedlander will get us ready to take off! 

Resources from this session: Slides

Got Brand Strategy?

What is branding? Donna Oetzel, an expert on all things branding and marketing, will lead us down the road of what branding really means, and how to make sure you are creating an authentic voice and story. She will guide us on how to create an image that is right for your audience and how to incorporate your brand into your communications and marketing. Finally, she will touch on how to make create a strong elevator pitch, tell your story so people clearly understand what you do and ultimately use all of this to grow your business!

Resources from this session: Slides

Grab People’s Attention: Storytelling and Strong Content

Marketing and public relations (PR) – these terms mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Aviva Goldfarb and Laura Gross will guide us on what you really need to know, understand and do to show the world what your business is all about and how to tell your story! How to market on a budget?  No problem. Content marketing? We are here for you. What do you really need to know about social media and PR? You will hear about how to create the content and craft stories that people want to share and what are the best practices to follow.

Resources from this session: Slides

Build Your Business and Grow! 

Now that you know who you are and how to tell your story, it’s time to sell-build your business and win your clients or sell your services! We will learn best practices and helpful takeaways to be successful. Know your audience, know yourself, be authentic and, when possible, share why people should work with you, buy from you or hire you! We will celebrate all we have learned and how we have grown together. From here on in, you will always have one another to lean on and support you as you grow, grow, grow! Our Main Street Community is truly about opening doors and making connections and this experience will seal the deal!

Resources from this session: Slides