The Regional Entrepreneurial Collaborative (REC) in Northwest Michigan was formed to conduct a study of the business industries and needs in the region and develop a network of business support services and resources for entrepreneurs. From this study the REC realized again how unique this area is with over 19 major industries, from agriculture, arts & entertainment, legal & finance to health & medicine, real estate, recreation and travel & transportation. Although each industry has separate needs, the REC determined there are four major business types that apply to each industry, including individuals interested in starting a business, new businesses, growing businesses and established businesses. Each business type has specific needs, which vary slightly for each industry, but there are many common needs among all businesses.
After the research phase concluded in summer of 2010, the REC worked with professionals to determine the best way to help entrepreneurs locate the proper resources to meet their needs. After considerable discussion and brainstorming, the Northwest Michigan Business Atlas name, logo and website was developed. The goal for this website is to connect business and organizations in Northwest Michigan to other businesses and organizations that can assist with fulfilling needs.
Besides developing this online tool, the Northwest Michigan Business Atlas will continue to grow their services offline to help entrepreneurs identify and meet their business needs.