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  • 1si Press Release

One Southern Indiana and Indiana SBDC launch new small business initiative

Mike Fulkerson tapped to head the program as Small Business Navigator

NEW ALBANY, IN. (November 11, 2021)
Small businesses in Indiana, from startups to established businesses, now have a new ally as they continue to adapt and grow in these challenging times. One Southern Indiana (1si) and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) have announced a joint Small Business Navigator Program, tapping Mike Fulkerson of southern Indiana as the program’s first Small Business Navigator / Business Advisor.

Under the new program, Fulkerson will consult with clients to help them as they launch new businesses or grow existing small businesses in Southeast Indiana. He will also develop, grow and maintain The ONE Fund, the 1si-sponsored small business lending program; secure partners and experts to provide small businesses with the knowledge they need to succeed, and oversee workshops and training that facilitate the combined goals of 1si and the ISBDC.

“This position connects with my passion for helping businesses grow and become sustainable,” said Fulkerson. “I look forward to working with area entrepreneurs, managers, and business experts to support our vibrant and growing small business community.”

Fulkerson holds a Bachelor’s degree from Murray State University. He brings to the position 18 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, including Director of Business Development and Partner for Hectare’s Innovations; Director of Business Development for Ale-8-One Bottling Company; Chief Commercial Officer and Partner for Jade Monk, LLC; Chief Operating Officer for Rooibee Red Tea Company; Grocery Category Manager for Earth Fare Supermarkets and more. He is an Honorary Member of the Kentucky Colonels and a board member of STEAM Exchange, a nonprofit helping inner-city youth excel at science, technology, engineering and math using art as a catalyst for learning.

Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of One Southern Indiana said, “We couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration with our friends at the Indiana SBDC, and especially with the selection of Mike Fulkerson to lead the charge. He shares our passion for small business and brings a wealth of boots-on-the-ground experience that will benefit both new startups and established businesses across our region. We can’t wait to see all the ways this program can help fuel the robust small business growth our area continues to experience.”

Jon Myers, Regional Director for the ISBDC, concurred, noting, “This new initiative is a natural outgrowth of the very productive partnership we’ve enjoyed with One Southern Indiana, and dovetails perfectly with our mission to have a measurable impact on small businesses. As a former small business owner, I know firsthand the challenges that small companies face. We’re thrilled to have a part in offering this new and valuable resource to area entrepreneurs.”

About One Southern Indiana
One Southern Indiana (1si) was formed in July of 2006 as the economic development organization and chamber of commerce serving Clark and Floyd counties. 1si’s mission is to provide the connections, resources and services that help businesses innovate and thrive in the Southern Indiana / Louisville metro area.
Since its inception, the organization has taken a three-pronged approach to serving its members and investors. Business Resources, as the chamber side of the organization, encompasses membership, signature events and programs which support and encourage business growth; Economic Development works to grow the regional economy through the attraction of new commerce and assists with retention and expansion of existing businesses; Advocacy supports businesses at the government level by engaging in the initiatives to preserve, protect and promote a business-friendly environment free of obstacles to growth and development of commerce. For more information on One Southern Indiana, visit www.1si.org.

About the Indiana Small Business Development Center
The Indiana Small Business Development Center was created to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of small businesses in Indiana, and to help Hoosier Entrepreneurs start stronger, grow faster and work smarter. For 35 years, from ten offices around the state, the Indiana SBDC has been helping small businesses start and grow in Indiana. In that time, they have assisted more than 50,000 Hoosier entrepreneurs in the creation of thousands of new businesses, tens of thousands of new jobs, and accessing more than $1 billion in capital to grow their businesses in Indiana.

Contact:
Allen Howie
Marketing and Communications
One Southern Indiana
allenh@1si.org
(502) 644-8920

Jon Myers
Regional Director
ISBDC
jmyers@isbdc.org
(888) 472-3244

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