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Manchester Alive Announces County-wide Callout Event for Entrepreneurs

By April 6, 2023No Comments

Manchester Alive Announces County-wide Callout Event for Entrepreneurs

FORT WAYNE, Ind.— March 29, 2023 – Manchester Alive Main Street Chamber is hosting a county-wide callout event for entrepreneurs on April 25, 2023, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., at the Community Foundation of Wabash County. The purpose is to identify what entrepreneurs need to succeed in Wabash County. Manchester Alive is one of four Community Champions of the NIIC Catalyze Northeast Indiana Pilot Program.

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“Manchester Alive is committed to the creation and growth of small business throughout—not just North Manchester—but our county. The opportunity to partner with the NIIC and Grow Wabash County is a phenomenal way to extend support to the entrepreneurs who will indelibly change the trajectory of our local economy. We are excited to use these services as a new and innovative way to support the business owners that call North Manchester home,” said Heather Cruz, Executive Director, Manchester Alive.

The Catalyze Program includes three imperative components:

  1. Community-based and led by a local champion in collaboration with NIIC,
  2. Startups access to events, workshops, and tactics for innovative entrepreneurship through a partnership with NEXT Studios, and
  3. Customized to the community based on listening sessions, like the callout meetings, to identify a community’s needs.

“We are happy to support and partner with Manchester Alive and the NIIC to host this entrepreneurial callout event next month. Entrepreneurship support is one of the five core pillars of Grow Wabash County that we have been spearheading for the last six years. So, we are thrilled to add this offering and potential new programming to the community,” said Keith Gillenwater, President & CEO, Grow Wabash County.

This collaborative work aligns with the county’s overall strategy. “This partnership between the NIIC and our business support organizations in the county [Manchester Alive and Grow Wabash County] supports several recommendations in the Imagine One 85 plan [the county’s comprehensive strategy for reversing population decline in Wabash County],” said Alex Downard, Director of Imagine One 85 implementation.

“The Imagine One 85 initiative is a symbol of our community’s dedication to a collaborative, inclusive, and unified approach to growth and development through quality of life/place and the attraction and retention of talent. Communities with a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem are well-positioned for growth and prosperity. This program will support entrepreneurs across the entrepreneurial spectrum, including residents with a concept looking to further develop a business plan, as well as help our existing businesses re-imagine strategies for growth and development. I am excited to see the impact this program will bring for entrepreneurs in all of our cities and towns across Wabash County as we work to grow a more prosperous community,” said Downard.

Confirm attendance by sending an email to

The Don Wood Foundation, Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District (SEED), and NIIC fund Catalyze Northeast Indiana Pilot Program.

About Manchester Alive Main Street Chamber Alliance

In January 2019, Manchester Main Street and North Manchester Chamber of Commerce joined to form one entity – Manchester Alive: Main Street Chamber Alliance. The alliance of two strong organizations creates a collaboration that offers better opportunities for economic and community development and more effective ways to promote the common business interests of North Manchester.

Our vision is to be recognized as a leader in creating a vibrant and inclusive community, promoting economic vitality, celebrating our historical legacy, and fostering a dynamic future. Our mission is to promote economic vitality and equality of place for North Manchester with a spirit of collaboration.

Manchester Alive is a member of the OCRA Indiana Main Street and follows the four-point approach set in place by Main Street America.

About NIIC

About 20 years ago, NIIC was created to solve a problem. Aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs needed somewhere to go in Northeast Indiana to incubate their businesses. Visionary leaders imagined a place where innovation and economic development intersect for a COMMUNITY. Entrepreneurs and innovators have launched hundreds of new products and patents, created thousands of jobs, and infused hundreds of millions in grants and capital into our economy.

As a Venture Hub, NIIC pulls down barriers (geographic, racial, socio-economic, and interest-based), working with the regional Community of Communities™ to create an ecosystem of Entrepreneurship for ALL. NIIC’s focus is collaboration and maximizing the impact of regional partners.

The International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) recognized NIIC with the 2020 Dinah Adkins Award and the Entrepreneur Center of the Year: Mixed Use Award. NIIC’s WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC) is one of only two U.S. Small Business Administration-designated Women’s Business Centers in Indiana. WEOC WBC was named 2022 SBA Indiana Women’s Business Center of Excellence. 

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