Speaker to address how to grow, maintain small local businesses

Ellen Holmes

“No one person, no matter how great they are, is good at everything,” said Jason Schneider, Accelerate U.P.’s enterprise facilitator.

Accelerate U.P. is a nonprofit organization that follows the model of “enterprise facilitation.” Their mission is to offer help to any start-up, expanding or struggling business in Marquette County.  Schneider will be giving a lecture on enterprise facilitation at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11 in the Mead Auditorium of West Science Hall on NMU’s campus.

Courtesy of Jason Schneider Jason Schneider of local start-up, Accelerate U.P., will speak about “enterprise facilitation” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11 in Mead Auditorium.
Courtesy of Jason Schneider
Jason Schneider of local start-up, Accelerate U.P., will speak about “enterprise facilitation” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11 in Mead Auditorium.

Schneider said enterprise facilitation is a philosophy aimed at growing business that works closely with many traditional local economic development organizations to help clients succeed.

“A good analogy would be, we’re more like a family doctor that makes house calls,” Schneider said. “We meet people where they are comfortable, figure out where they are at, what the next steps are and who has the specific expertise needed to help them get through that step.

“Much like a family practitioner that works with patients to identify the issue and which specialist is relevant. We’re a friend through the whole process of your business.”

The “trinity of management,” a key component of enterprise facilitation, he said, focuses on the product/service, marketing and financial management, all strengths that allow a business to specialize in their field.

“[It] divides the management and planning into tasks for the team to work on together,” Schneider said.

He said this makes things more manageable.

“By creating a team of people focused on their strengths, there isn’t anything they can’t tackle,” he said.

Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship Hugo Eyzaguirre said students of all majors could benefit from attending the lecture.

The enterprise facilitator guides each entrepreneur to find volunteers in the community, Eyzaguirre said. This helps the entrepreneur decide what each member of the team is good at and what role they want to have in the business.

“Many students may think, how could this relate to me if I do not necessarily plan to open a business?” Eyzaguirre said.  “First, nowadays, there are more chances of that happening than you may think. Second, even if you do not become a ‘business person’ per se, entrepreneurial skills and abilities are becoming necessary to succeed in the labor market.”

Accelerate U.P. works with 20 to 30 companies at a time, such as Superior Hockey and Boomerang Retro & Relics on downtown Washington Street.

“Entrepreneurship is becoming more and more of an important component of the thorough education college students should receive to be prepared for the new, ever changing environment they will face after graduation,” Eyzaguirre said.