Program Supports Creative Entrepreneurs in Kenosha

Last summer, Extension Educator Amy Greil and her counterpart in Positive Youth Development, Erica Ness, worked with the Kenosha Creative Space to usher in technical support and program funding for a business accelerator program called The PATH Program.

The PATH Program, developed by Atlanta-based Plywood People, is a business accelerator program designed to support social and creative entrepreneurs. “Jeff Shinabarger, the founder of Plywood People, presented a unique approach years earlier while in Kenosha for a conference and his message resonated.  As it turns out, the PATH Program is the right option for this under-served segment of entrepreneurs,” said Greil.

By late 2021, the first cohort of 17 Kenosha-based participants enrolled in the program. These entrepreneurs participated in a 6-session intensive training of “a-synchronist” entrepreneurship and business-development content including self-guided video tutorials and discussion questions paired with weekly-facilitated group instruction. The PATH online modules are geared to meet the unique challenges and market dynamics that confront social enterprises, artistic and creative ventures, and nonprofits.  

Though often under-capitalized, creative ventures are launched by diverse entrepreneurs that seek to, not only grow successful businesses but add tremendous value to communities in terms of placemaking and social entrepreneurship. The PATH Program and the efforts of Kenosha Creative Space is an attempt to meet the needs of Kenosha area social and creative entrepreneurs in hopes of supporting the value these entrepreneurs bring to the area.

The Kenosha Creative Space is currently building out the follow-up session to PATH, called FOUNDATIONS. In this course, entrepreneurs will progress through more sophisticated tools to grow and sustain their businesses, all while tapping into a diverse “eco-system” of supporters and technicians.  

Learn more about the programming offered through the Kenosha Creative Space.

The funding for this program was provided by a successful grant request through the University of Wisconsin System Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship.

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