MaryBeth Matzek: Northwest Enterprise Network aids entrepreneurs

This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion

The state’s largest business incubator isn’t in Milwaukee, or even in Madison for that matter. Nestled in the far northwest corner of Wisconsin, the Northwest Enterprise Center Network covers more space than any other by offering 10 business incubator spaces in six different communities.

“It’s one of the largest incubator programs in the country and it’s right here in northwest Wisconsin,” says Rick Roeser, the center’s program manager.

The network was launched by the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in 1998 when the first incubator opened. Since then, other locations have been added. Each one – they’re located in Spooner, Grantsburg, Iron River, Medford, Phillips and Siren – features modern, flexible spaces that businesses can reconfigure to meet their needs.

The majority of businesses in the incubators are manufacturing focused, particularly plastics and tool and die.

“The network’s purpose is to provide the necessary resources to enhance technology-based business development that add economic diversification and strength within the region by creating high-skill, high-wage jobs” and the companies housed in the incubator are creating those types of jobs, Roeser says.

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