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Diversity in Business

Diversity in Business
February 8, 2024 Billy George

Last week we had the first class of our 2024 BASE Camp program. The Business Academy for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs (BASE) Camp is an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn more about the important elements of business ownership to be successful.

We had great instructors in Kim Ewoldson, executive director of the Sauk Valley Small Business Development Center, and Ashley Huffines, director of the Freeport Public Library. Both discussed free resources available for entrepreneurs to help them on their journey, including helping develop a business plan, researching the market and competitors, and more.

What excited me most about BASE Camp this year is the incredible group of entrepreneurs who make up the class. We have a dozen people who represent existing businesses and not-yet-formed businesses. We have men and women, young people and more experienced people, people from different races, different towns, and different industries. This group was lively and engaged, and not just with the instructors but with each other.

To my mind, the participants in BASE Camp represent the strength of the Freeport and Stephenson County economy. Diversity in all forms gives a strength and a vibrancy to our economy. Businesses working together, like the students in BASE Camp did last week, help all the players to thrive and survive.

If you are interested in BASE Camp, you can find out more at Individual classes are still available.

BIll Clow is the Business Engagement Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. He can be reached at or 815-233-1356.