Oh Oberlin: Down to business

What is the story of business in Oberlin? That can sound really complicated when you listen to the owners who put everything they have into starting a new venture. Buying a bookstore a few years before online reading strikes your business model. Long days turn into frigid winter nights installing greenhouse equipment during the winter. Having a business plan isn’t enough to forestall the effects of the Great Recession. And, in the end? Entrepreneurs will start from scratch and try it all over again.

Add into that trying to run a business in the digital age when it can seem just as easy to buy a product online as to drive downtown … Well why would you start a business? Oh Oberlin will start to break that down as I change my own format from the unscripted hourlong conversations I’ve done nearly each week for more than a year to finding and tracing this story in particular. Beginning in November, Oh Oberlin will post shorter episodes twice each week.

I’m working with SEEDVentures to broaden the scope of this podcast. SEEDVentures has picked five entrepreneurs to set up in a storefront in downtown Oberlin – I am not one of them – and is providing business incubator support to a dozen or so altogether.

So as I am breaking format, maybe I better say trying a new format, these are the areas I will focus on. November will begin with:

Oberlin: a business island unto itself

This will be a month spent looking at historical, game-changing famous Oberlin-birthed/based entrepreneurs.

Following that, I plan to get into examples of growing a business from the ground up; those who have done it in Oberlin and those who are doing it now. I call December,

Growing a business from an idea

Is entrepreneurship really just a fancy word?  That is, who cares about entrepreneurship?

Growing networks

How do businesses work together? One possible example is the Food Hub, a story about food entrepreneurs, including farmers and growers.

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