Are you an entrepreneur?
- Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
- Business Quizzes
- Entrepreneurial Fitness Tests
- Self-Evaluation Test/Going Into Business
Learn more about Wisconsin
- SBA Wisconsin Overview 2009
- Wisconsin Portfolio – Wisconsin’s Assets (page 3)
- Wisconsin and the I-Q Corridor – How Wisconsin fits in the region
Some first steps
- Starting a Business – A primer from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
- Life Sciences Technology Transfer and Commercialization: A New Frontier in Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneur’s Search Engine from the Kauffman Foundation
- Small Business Administration – Startup Guide
- Permits and licensing helps entrepreneurs identify the necessary permits, licenses and registration requirements affecting their new business.
Business assistance programs
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA has a wide variety of startup tools, checklists, and resources to help you begin your business. In Wisconsin, the SBA offices in Madison and Milwaukee offer training through numerous venues such as workshops, seminars, and courses. Many are free. Online courses, workshops and guides are available at http://www.sba.gov/training/courses.html. 608-441-5263 or 414-297-3941.
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
Housed on or near 13 of the University of Wisconsin campuses, the SBDCs are designed to deliver up-to-date counseling, training, and technical assistance in all aspects of small business management
- Wisconsin Business AnswerLine
Provides free information to small business owners on a wide variety of business topics. The AnswerLine staff has access to an extensive document library, phone and web resources and often field calls about starting a business, business planning, permits and licensing, insurance, legal entity types and business financing topics. These resources also can also be emailed to callers to answer their questions quickly and efficiently. The AnswerLine is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Call: 800-940-7232.
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Working and retired executives and business owners volunteer their time and expertise to provide confidential counseling and mentoring free of charge.
- State Bar of Wisconsin/Business Assistance Program
Small and emerging businesses throughout Wisconsin can receive up to two hours of counseling from a business lawyer at no cost. For more information on the Business Assistance Program, please call the State Bar at 608-250-6006 or visit www.wisbar.org/bar/pbbap.htm
- Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network is a statewide umbrella organization that provides access to a wide range of entrepreneurial training programs and business assistance professionals who can help entrepreneurs and small businesses improve a variety of business operations. To access WEN services, go to www.wenportal.org.
- Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)
WWBIC provides quality business education, technical assistance and access to capital for entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on serving women, people of color, and those of lower incomes. 414-263-5450 or 608-257-5450
- The Entrepreneurs’ Resource Clinic in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Town Center is a “one-stop shop” where entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs can find assistance in a single space. UW-Madison entities staff the clinic on a regular basis to coordinate services and resources.
- Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS)
The 16 technical colleges with 47 branches throughout the state provide a wide range of services to businesses and industries in Wisconsin. Many campuses offer programs specifically geared toward planning and operating a small business.
- Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP)
WISCAP provides business and job opportunities to low-income entrepreneurs, providing technical assistance to individuals who have sound ideas for establishing a small business but who lack the expertise and knowledge to succeed.
Writing a business plan
- Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest – Templates and rules for Wisconsin’s premier statewide, tech-based contest
- Building a Strong Business Plan Section by Section
- The Business Plan Canvas
- Interactive Business Planner
- Business Plan Assistance from Business.com
- Center for Business Planning – Software, Sample Plans and Strategy
- Short Course in Business Plan Writing – includes high tech
- Entrepreneur Magazine Business Plan Assistance
- Biotechnology Business Development
Funding your business plan
- Early Planning Grant and Entrepreneur Training Grant Programs are administered by the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network. Visit www.wenportal.org and click on “Grant Locator Tool”.
Choosing a business structure
- Primer on Selection of a Business Entity
- Available Types of Business Entities (Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions document)
- Creating a Limited Liability Corporation Online in Wisconsin
- Small Business Legal Structures from NOLO/Law For All
- The Business Wizard – covers licensing, permitting and regulatory requirements; helps you obtain necessary application forms
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names (ICANN) – registrar for domain names 310-823-9358
Marketing and feasibility studies
- Wisconsin Innovation Service Center – Helping existing and aspiring entrepreneurs make profitable new-product and marketing development decisions.
- Market Analysis – Center for Business Planning
- Marketing Virtual Library – Internet Marketing Research
- Feasibility Study – A Valuable Business Tool
- Starting a Small Business – the Feasibility Analysis
Finding a mentor
- The Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning and Innovation Network (MERLIN) is a group of experienced business leaders who volunteer their time, knowledge and experience to build the skills of entrepreneurs and help them turn their ideas into companies. Approved entrepreneurs gain assistance from the mentoring service free of charge in areas such as business formation and funding, strategic planning, organizational management and specific technical issues. or 608-441-8053
- Wisconsin PeerSpectives Network – service of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center network, PeerSpectives provides CEOs, presidents and business owners with insights and feedback from peers in small group settings.
- BizStarts Milwaukee is a seamless, region-wide approach to assisting entrepreneurs in southeastern Wisconsin. The BizStarts Milwaukee website serves as a one-stop address for entrepreneurs to access information, service providers and events.