Growing Entrepreneurs - Nurturing Success


It was a beautiful week with wonderful entrepreneurs telling their stories. Be sure to join us for Networking Day this Wednesday. It is always a fun time to meet the students and have fun activities as we learn.

We still need just a few more mentors for this year, so please contact me at if you are interested. I will be happy to give you more information about this opportunity to help these bright students in their entrepreneurial journey.  

ClassE Schedule - 8-9:30 am
Location: Lifespan Ctr. (unless noted below)
11021 E. Cty. Rd. 800 N. Charleston (Loxa Road just NE of the hospital)

Monday, 9/21 - Business Budgets

Tuesday 9/22- Lake Land Print Shop Tour
with Dave Earp
Lake Land College, Mattoon (Outbuilding South of Main campus)

Wednesday 9/23 - Networking Day 
Come join us to meet the students and hear their group business pitches. We would love to see mentors, investors, parents and board there. Email me if you plan to attend.

Thurs. 9/24 - Bidwell'sTour
with Heath Browning
1610 Broadway, Mattoon

Fri 9/25- Group Work Day

John Inyart, former Charleston Mayor and Midas Franchisee, discussed the pros and cons of franchising and how he decided to become an independent shop after 24 years with Midas.
He said, "Running a business is harder than being mayor," and wishes he had this class opportunity when he was young.
Steve Hardin, owner of Jack and Bill's discussed the changes in retailing and a little bit of history of retail in Mattoon. He had great insight on purchasing strategies and researching his vendors to make sure they have "clean distribution".
Terri Temples and Kathy Cartwright of Vintage Cottage Beauty, were great resources of information to the group that wants to sell sugar scrubs. We discussed the most popular scents, the pricing of ingredients, and how to market these gift items.

Class Investors 

(Click on the name to go to their website.)

Advanced Digital Solutions 

City of Charleston

City of Mattoon

Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Commercial Electric

Curry Construction

Dau Consulting

Diepholz Auto Group

Ealy's Real Estate Appraisals

Eastern Illinois Properties

First Federal Savings & Loan Association

First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust

First Neighbor Bank

Flesor's Candy Kitchen

General Electric

Gilbert, Metzger & Madigan LLP

Jerome C. Groniger

Howell Paving, Inc.

Innovative Staff Solutions

Inyart Tire and Auto

Lake Land College

Lifetime Eye Care

Lorenz Supply Company

Marketing by Jones, LLC

McDonald's of Coles County 

Mid-Illinois Concrete, Inc.

Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC

Reed's Fly-On Farming


Rural King Supply

Sarah Bush Lincoln 

Health System

Scholes Trucking, Inc.

SEED Center at Eastern Illinois University

Eli & Ann Sidwell

Slumberland Furniture

The Sparks Foundation

Unique Home Properties

United Graphics, Inc.

Upchurch Group, Inc.

Vantage Outsourcing

Veolia Environmental Services

Wells Fargo Advisors

West & Company, LLC

Wireless Mikes 

Coles County Council on Aging Lifespan Center
Class Hosts




Due to the increased enrollment, the class will meet at the Coles County Council on Aging LifeSpan Center for the entire year. We will still be touring businesses 2-3 days per week. Thank you LifeSpan for this great partnership.


Coles County Council on Aging Lifespan Center