Michigan Economy
5:26 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Michigan celebrates global entrepreneurship week

In west Michigan several organizations are collaborating on more than a dozen events to foster the entrepreneurial spirit.

Dante Villarreal works with entrepreneurs in west Michigan as the regional director of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center. "Entrepreneurship is everywhere," Villarreal said, pointing to Ford, Steelcase, Meijer and Kellogg. "Our state has really been built on entrepreneurs. But now it's a different type of entrepreneur. Now it's the type of entrepreneur that might create 10, 15 jobs - but very innovative jobs. And that's how it's going to play a role in shaping the new Michigan."

He says successful entrepreneurs are generally not all about the money. "Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires a lot of work and a lot of commitment, a high tolerance of risk," Villarreal said. "There has to be something there inside that individual to really motivate them every day to get up and get ready for that battle, get ready for that opportunity, got ready for disappointments, but at the same time, get ready for achievements."

This week, Villarreal's and a number of other organizations are coming together to host elevator pitch competitions, training workshops and networking events. They hope to inspire new entrepreneurs, long time small business owners, and those who are considering becoming their own boss. Global Entrepreneurship events in west Michigan run through the end of the week.