LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Southwest Louisiana has been making itself a hub for entrepreneurs the past few years, and the SEED Center is gearing up for its 8th Annual Business Pitch Competition in April.
Before then, the SEED Center and SWLA Economic Development Alliance is partnering with the City of Lake Charles to launch an entire month-long series aimed at helping aspiring business owners.
“Every day entrepreneurs embark on a journey determined to bring their vision to reality to fill a need they see in the community,” John Cardone, City Administrator said. “The good news is there are some great resources to these aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners.”
“Small business enterprises are the backbone of our economy, but the road to entrepreneurship can be bumpy at times,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “Starting a business is challenging, but the City of Lake Charles and a number of other agencies offer some incredible resources to aspiring entrepreneurs. SWLA Lake Charles Launch is an effort to provide a concerted effort at providing educational programming to shed a brighter light on these resources.”
"For folks who have an idea, who have a dream, who want to get into a business we can help them here,” George Swift, SWLA Economic Development Alliance CEO said. “We have Donna Little with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese, she is a great resource and a number of other entities are here to help people."
Events such as "starting and financing your business idea" to "5 rules for exponential business growth" will be offered throughout the month of March.
"Creating it starts obviously with the inspiration to get going. Once you have a plan, it's having the guts to take that first step," Trey Litel said.
Trey Litel, one of the founders of Bayou Rum, will be one of the presenters next month. He says the culture and people are just some of the reasons the distillery is a success.
"The people of Southwest Louisiana love to talk and so when good news is around it spreads like wildfire,” Litel said. “Word of mouth really helps take things off. Think of Waitr, everybody ordering food. Think about Walk On's and how it became the hottest thing to go do. People appreciate creativity and will support you."
The series is set to kick off on Monday, March 2 at the SEED Center with the Business Pitch Warm-up from 5-8 p.m.
You can find the schedule of events here.