Letter: ALEAP a great resource for entrepreneurs

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Many people have a desire to become entrepreneurs and be responsible for their own livelihood, but the path to business ownership can be very daunting, especially because every business model is very different, so everyone who has ever started a business has had to find their own path.

Our community is fortunate to have ALEAP (Albert Lea Entrepreneur Advancement Program), which is organized by our economic development agency, ALEDA. Every third Thursday of the month, from 6 to 8 p.m, we meet at varying business locations, and there is no cost or commitment to attend. About an hour is spent socializing and networking with like-minded current or future business owners, and the other hour spent learning. Sometimes the topic will be a technical topic that is taught by a subject matter expert, others are hearing a story from a successful business owner on how they started their business, and others may be a roundtable where we discuss topics relevant to what we deal with starting businesses.

It’s common to tell people about our business ideas and have them make all kinds of judgements, depicting all the negatives to starting a business. Instead, surround yourself with people that won’t call you crazy or lament about how you’ll run your family into the poorhouse! Surround yourself with people at ALEAP who understand your passion, know the benefits business ownership brings to your life and the community and who will support you and give you useful information on how to make your business dream a reality! ALEAP participants follow a code of conduct that we don’t discuss who was at meetings or what they are starting, so you don’t have to worry about your employer hearing that you are trying to start a business, if that is a concern.

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There is a whole network system and many resources for those who want to start a business. If you don’t know where to connect with that system, it’s very difficult to find. So, if you want to find out about those many resources, which include free consulting, funding sources like grants and loans for entrepreneurs, classes and more, you need to find a group like ALEAP to learn. You can also connect with ALEAP to find out about future events and resources on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ALEAPteam/

Join us at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Albert Lea Business Development Center at 2610 Y.H. Hanson Ave. in Albert Lea. I’ll be the speaker at this month’s event talking about the role training plays in any business and how to conduct effecting training programs.

Brad Kramer

Albert Lea