Elgin Area Small Business Academy
Conversation. Collaboration. Community.
Sharing Experience For YOUR Business Success!
If you are thinking of starting your own business or if you have been in business for less than five years, then you are in the right place!
The Elgin Area Small Business Academy will provide you with small business ownership fundamentals and assist you in expanding your network of contacts to help grow your business.
Through interactive classes, networking and sharing environment the EASBA seeks to create a supportive community of motivated entrepreneurs and small business owners and business managers who are interested in starting and/or taking their businesses to the next level.
Gain powerful insights from seasoned small business professionals on:
- Reasons for Starting a Business
- Marketing & Advertising
- Sales Strategies
The Elgin Area Small Business Academy is modeled after the Elgin Area Chamber’s award-winning Elgin Area Leadership Academy.
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Elgin Area Small Business Academy celebrates Class of 2016
The Elgin Area Chamber’s inaugural Elgin Area Small Business Academy (EASBA) class graduated in June after completing the inaugural cohort of the Academy.
This highly successful program provided nearly 20 prospective entrepreneurs and existing business owners with small business fundamentals thru a series of monthly interactive classroom-style presentations and discussions from local small business professionals. Topics covered over the course of the six-month academy included marketing and advertising, sales strategies, operations and management.
The sessions also enabled participants to develop a network of business contacts from both classmates and presenters.
Businesses that participated ran the gamut from smaller start-up ventures such as Kay Morrisoe’s HospitaliTea, an artisan craft business located inside Elgin’s State Street Market, and Aaron Bowgren’s Aaroco, Inc., a home-based technology consulting company located in South Elgin, to more established small businesses such as Leo Urdaneta’s Domani Café coffee shop in downtown Elgin.
Former Pingree Grove Police Chief Carol Lussky’s Sheep Wreck Farm, which sells fiber made from Jacob sheep wool, found the program to be very successful in helping her launch her business venture.
“Our EASBA volunteer committee did a wonderful job of developing the content and framework for this academy,” said Elgin Area Chamber President/CEO Carol Gieske. “It takes a great deal of time and effort to put all of these pieces together in creating something that our participants have really found valuable in starting or growing their business.”
The EASBA committee consists of Keith Rauschenberger of Rauschenberger Financial Advisors, Nancy Abuali of MEA Cargo, Jim Screeden of SCORE, Aaron Bowgren with Aaroco Custom Software, Catherine Arne of The Room Fox Valley, as well as Carol Gieske of EAC and Elgin Development Group's Tony Lucenko.
Pam Echevarria and Heather Muniz, Shared Harvest
Kay Morrisroe, HospitaliTea
Cindy Rauschenberger, Fox Valley Endodontic Specialists
Aaron Bowgren, Aaroco Custom Software
Brian Oster, OC Creative Inc.
Leo Urdaneta, Domani Cafe
Ashley and Chris Sumner, Mama Lee's Gourmet Popcorn
Karen Reyes, Karen Reyes Insurance Agency
Jeff Seagren, Jeff Seagren Inc.
Carol Lussky, Sheep Wreck Farm
Christina Castro, Butter & Flour
Daniel Sparks, Photography Moments II
Parley Castro and Jeffrey Mayr, Ridge Road Defense
Businesswoman, Toni Frazier
Catherine Arne, The Room Fox Valley