National Entrepreneurial Business Start-Up Program

Brescia University, the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the Kentucky Innovation Network are excited to announce open enrollment for CO.STARTERS, a nationally renowned business development program.  The nine-week program begins September 18th at the Center for Business and Research and will serve to equip aspiring as well as experienced entrepreneurs.


CO.STARTERS is a platform to help communities grow local business.   The program is designed to help participants think through a business idea, the assumptions behind them, determine next steps, and prepare for future success.  This nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. Unlike traditional platforms, CO.STARTERS applies the lean business modeling methods popular among high-growth startups to small businesses of all kinds.

How does it work?

Participants enter into a facilitator-led, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded peers. Working together, participants identify their assumptions about why and how their businesses will work, and then talk to customers in order to validate their ideas. This approach enables entrepreneurs to rapidly uncover flaws in their concepts and find viable models more quickly. Participants leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate their models, and repeat the process with the next great idea.

Who will facilitate the program?

John Jurkiewicz will serve as the program facilitator for the inaugural program.  John is the president of the Jurkiewicz Consulting, a career development and human resource management consulting and coaching company.  John has forty years’ experience in operations, human resource management, and business coaching.  As a certified career coach, he works with companies to reach their goals through effective hiring and employee development.  John’s client base includes members of the health care, transportation, retail, government, printing, pest management, manufacturing, brewing and graphic arts industries.  He has worked in both the for-profit and not-for-profit environments.  John will be supported by multiple members of the Owensboro business community who will serve as peer mentors and guest speakers.

Who can participate?

All aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs are invited to participate.  Wayne Naylor, owner and operator of FranWay Furniture Company in Calhoun, KY has already submitted his application.  “I am 62 years old and will retire from the workforce in September.  It has always been my dream to own my own business and spend my days being creative, doing what I love.  I believe CO.STARTERS is just what I need to help me turn my dream into reality.  It will provide me with the tools and resources to get to know my market, understand the demands and price-points for products, and move FranWay from a hobby to a profitable business venture.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the CO.STARTERS program and may be found at  The first cohort is limited to 16 participants, but the program will be offered on a year-round basis.

What is the cost?

Participants will pay $350 for the CO.STARTERS experience.

You can learn more about the CO.STARTERS program by contacting Program Administrator, Helen Bennett, at [email protected] or 270-315-4331.