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Nicolet College awarded state grant to expand entrepreneurship training

Jan. 24, 2018

Entrepreneurship training in the Northwoods will continue to grow in coming months thanks to a $25,000 grant Nicolet College and the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation (VCEDC) received from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The college, in partnership with VCEDC, will use the funds for multiple activities, including offering four separate offerings of the 30-hour Nicolet Entrepreneur Training (NET) program in the upcoming year

Two will be held in Eagle River, one in Tomahawk, and one in Rhinelander.

“Many different factors come into play when launching and running a business,” said Sandy Bishop, Nicolet dean of Workforce and Economic Development. “Each of the 10-week workshops will cover essential topics that include creating a business plan, analyzing the market and competition, securing funding, and other factors that go into operating a successful business.”

Lt. Gov. Rebecca KleefischWisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, in the photo here, announced the grant award during an event on the Nicolet College Campus.

A total of 36 entities from across the state applied for the grants. Nicolet College was one of 11 to share in the $500,000 distributed by the WEDC.

This is the second consecutive year Nicolet has been awarded WEDC funding, receiving $27,000 in 2017 to advance entrepreneurship training.

A free, single-session introductory workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Vilas County Incubator, Hwy. 70 Business Park, 4825 Hwy. 70 West.

In Tomahawk, a free session will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Mar 20, in a location to be determined.

The first full 10-session NET Business Blueprint course will be held on Wednesdays in Eagle River from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Mar. 28 to May 30, at the Hwy. 70 Business Park.

In Tomahawk, the course will meet Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., April 3 to June 5, at a location to be determined.

A course will be held in Rhinelander this coming fall, along with a second offering in Eagle River.

Cost is $495 per person. Vilas County residents can apply for full funding through the Juday Entrepreneurial Scholarship program.

Residents outside Vilas County can apply for partial funding through the grant from the WEDC.

Along with the NET Business Blueprint courses, the college will use the grant money to form new collaborative partnerships with additional economic development corporations and Main Street communities; organize a variety of entrepreneurship networking events; and advance instructor training to meet the growing need for entrepreneurship education.

Matching contributions for the project include $10,000 from the private Juday Entrepreneurial Development Fund, $10,800 from Nicolet College, and $4,200 from area county economic development organizations.

Other entities working with the college to advance entrepreneurship training and in support of the grant application include the Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation and the economic development organizations of Lincoln, Oneida, and Forest counties.

For more information, or to request application materials, attend one of the free NET Exploring Entrepreneurship informational sessions listed above or contact Nicolet’s Department of Workforce and Economic Development at (715) 365-4905, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4905; TTY 1-800-947-3529 or 711 relay; or by email at