Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Nicolet College lands WEDC entrepreneurial grant for second straight yearSubmitted: 01/23/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Nicolet College lands WEDC entrepreneurial grant for second straight year
RHINELANDER - Through a smartphone in Nancy Brekke-Jones' hands, she can access the business she literally built from the ground up.

"I took it in little chunks, just little step by step," Brekke-Jones said.

Her idea for helping people's feet started a couple years ago. Brekke-Jones opened "Replace-a-Lace" after working for a Rhinelander shoe store for 26 years.  People who can't easily tie their shoes (elderly, disabled, and people with arthritis) can log onto Brekke-Jones' website to find Velcro-like closures she sells from her home.

"It's one of those garage businesses except it's at my kitchen table," Brekke-Jones said smiling.

Brekke-Jones went from her kitchen to Nicolet College Tuesday morning. That's where Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch announced a new round of grant funding that will help pay for business-starting classes Brekke-Jones took through the college last fall.

"I love the stories where someone is walking around with a light bulb above their head," Kleefisch said. "Take the light bulb from above their noggin and actually develop a business plan."

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation offered Nicolet a piece of $500,000 going to 11 groups across the state. Thirty-six groups applied for the funding this year.

"Nicolet College put up the numbers, they said we are really going to invest the $25,000," Kleefisch said.

Nicolet received $27,000 through the same WEDC grant program in 2017.

"We know these entrepreneurship grants are connecting people, regardless of where they live or what they look like to the resources they need," Kleefisch said.

Matching money from places like the Vilas County Business Incubator in Eagle River, the Juday Enterpreneurial Development Fund, and Nicolet College students themselves mean classes that Doris McAllister teaches can expand into more area towns like Eagle River.

"There are some great business ideas coming out of northern Wisconsin that I never would have thought of, so I get to encourage them and think of ways that i can help them," McAllister said.

McAllister was a student of the college program herself, starting her own jewelry business. She now is the executive director of Grow North, an organization that helps foster business growth across eight northern and northeastern Wisconsin counties.

"While not every business succeeds, we still have a road map that we can build on in the future," McAllister said.

Kleefisch points to that as a big reason Nicolet won the WEDC funding for the second straight year: its ability to spark creativity across all six of the area counties it serves.

Brekke-Jones knows just how valuable those classes can be.

"It's overwhelming at first, but really, when you see it's all laid out for you of how to write a business plan, it became very easy," Brekke-Jones said. "If you want to do something and you just put your mind to it you can do it."

Nicolet College will offer its NET entrepreneur class in Eagle River this year. The nine-week class is free if you live in Vilas County thanks to the grant funding. People who don't live in Vilas County pay just $100 for the course.

The college will also hold free workshops throughout the district. The next one is Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at the Vilas County Business Incubator.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - As he suited up with a bit of swagger and his aviator sunglasses, all eyes were on Greg Fiss and his airplane Wednesday morning.  However, Fiss was quick to deflect the fame on the people watching him.

"They're the rock stars, we're just more visible," Fiss said of ground-based firefighters through his thick southern accent.

Fiss filled up his single-engine air tanker, or SEAT, with 800 gallons of water to show a group of DNR firefighters at Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport how he can help.  The native Kansan has flown a SEAT for 14 years, transitioning from agriculture crop dusting.

+ Read More

LODI - Authorities say at least four people were hurt when a semi crashed into a school bus in south central Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says the crash happened Wednesday morning along northbound Interstate 39 near Lodi, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee. The patrol says the bus was parked on the shoulder of the interstate when it was struck.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Prosecutors say a 21-year-old Milwaukee man beat a 15-year-old boy with a hammer, stabbed him in the neck and burned his body over a stolen video game system.

Police arrested Malik Terrell in Chicago on Monday after discovering the burnt remains of Dennis King in an abandoned Milwaukee house Sunday. King's family reported him missing since May 11.

Prosecutors say Terrell and his two younger siblings thought a friend of King's stole their video game system, so Terrell brought King to their house to question him. Investigators say Terrell and one of his siblings started beating King before Terrell attacked him with a hammer and stabbed him in the neck.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is sidestepping questions about whether more needs to be done to bolster student safety in the wake of a deadly high school shooting in Texas.

Asked during a question-and-answer period with reporters at the executive mansion Tuesday whether the Santa Fe High School shooting has motivated him to do more to increase school safety, Walker said no one should feel threatened at school.

He touted a bill he signed in March that provides school districts with $100 million in grants for security upgrades in their buildings. He said he hopes the state Department of Justice can get the money out quickly so schools can make improvements before fall classes begin.

+ Read More

MADISON - The U.S. Department of Justice is threatening to sue Wisconsin over its restrictions on overseas voters.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission released a letter Tuesday that it received from the DOJ on May 9. The letter warned the agency is preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't allow temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to file unofficial ballots. Under federal law, all voters overseas are entitled to both options regardless of the length of their stays abroad.

The DOJ wants the state to sign an agreement with the agency that it will provide the options. The elections commission plans to discuss the letter during a meeting Thursday.

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU -
Tuesday afternoon Tribal Police confirmed Antonio Monserrate Roche is the man found deceased last week in Pokegama Lake.

Once the Coroner's office determines the official cause of death, the Tribal Police Department will issue an update.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - A big tour bus with C-SPAN's logo on the side pulled into Lakeland Union High School on Tuesday.

The public affairs network arrived to help celebrate the work of students at the school. Four students were recognized for their winning projects in C-SPAN's Student Cam contest.

That contest drew 3,000 video entries.

"The fact that we had two groups of students winning here from Lakeland Union High School is pretty much a big deal," said C-SPAN Marketing Representative Shannon Augustus. "We're super happy to be here in Wisconsin."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here