BizStarts Milwaukee was created in 2008 by several local business leaders and entrepreneurs to “accelerate early-stage businesses and ideas,” increase the number of fast-growing companies in the region, and create a climate that will significantly enhance entrepreneurial development in the M7 region. BizStarts has seen a few people involved in the creative industries in its programs, and it may see more if graduates from the region’s arts and creative schools continue to stay and start businesses.
The Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship at Marquette University supports several programs including the Golden Angel Network, the Business Plan Competition, and, in partnership with the MMAC, “Emerging Entrepreneurs,” a networking initiative to enhance the management capacity of owners and executives of the region’s companies.
The Uihlein/Spitzer Center for Entrepreneurship at the Milwaukee School of Engineering was created to help faculty and students turn their business ideas into reality.
The Waukesha County Technical College’s Small Business Services program offers networking and technical assistance to students who want to start or strengthen a small business.
The Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute (MEI) primarily serves small businesses and entrepreneurs in the African-American and Latino communities. MEI offers business planning and technical assistance in owning and managing a small business. A number of artists have been the recipients of some of the services from the MEI, notably a painter, an art broker, an architect, a web designer, and a music promoter.
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) lends directly to microenterprises and provides assistance in loan packaging and owning and operating a small business. WWBIC targets women (although not exclusively), people of color, and microenterprises in low-income communities. Several of its loans have been given to people in the creative industries.