Governor Jennifer Granholm held a roundtable discussion at Grand Valley to talk about the importance of expanded funding for FastTrac, a 10-week course designed to help entrepreneurs and displaced workers learn how to successfully launch and grow a small business.
Panelists at the roundtable, held February 24 in the DeVos Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, consisted of several small business owners who shared stories of how the FastTrac program helped them launch a successful business. Other panelists included H. James Williams, dean of the Seidman College of Business; and Carol Lopucki, state director of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center.
“This is about changing the culture of Michigan,” said Granholm. “We are completely focused, like a laser, to help people who want to venture out and start a business. Through tools like the FastTrac program, more Michigan citizens will be able to develop their entrepreneurial talents that will help continue the diversification of Michigan’s economy.”
The governor talked about a new partnership with the MI-SBTDC and the Michigan Credit Union League to provide an initial $43 million for eligible small business loans. The MI-SBTDC is located in the Seidman College of Business; it oversees the 12-region MI-SBTDC network.
Gov. Granholm said helping small businesses is a top priority (audio). She said the state will pay for entrepreneurs to take part in the FastTrac program (audio). The governor said FastTrac can help people develop ideas (audio). She also said all ideas are welcome (audio).