A new program in the Manhattan area looks to help entrepreneurs

Spark is a new nonprofit organization with a vision to connect, resource, and successfully launch new entrepreneurs in the Greater Manhattan region. Sarah Siders, Executive Director of Spark tells KMAN about the overall mission of Spark.

“We’re wanting to grow innovation locally. We want to invest in those businesses and those ideas and that talent that’s building our community and bringing in outside dollars, and we want to keep the talent that we’re growing. We have so many great learning institutions right here in our area, and a lot of those folks are graduating and want to stay in the area and we want to be able to give them an opportunity to either find great employment or even to build their businesses,” says Siders.

Chamber of Commerce Economic Director, Daryn Soldan, tells us the importance of the partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and Spark.

It helps us diversify the local economy and grow the private sector site of the local economy. You also look around our community, look at our major private sector employers and so many of them started here and grew here and we realize the importance of that and we want to be players in helping develop the next generation of those types of companies,” he says.

Spark is a community-based program designed to connect small business owners. Siders tells KMAN one way Spark will be helping new entrepreneurs in the area.

“For those that are starting, we’re wanting to really create an energized and connected environment for them and as those businesses grow, absolutely, we will be looking for, you know, what’s beyond seed capital, looking at angel investing, and to what degree can we reactivate that into our community,” Siders says.

Siders, talks about the importance of helping small businesses and the connection Spark provides for those businesses.

When we think about small business, that’s actually the majority of employers in our country. It’s significant, its almost like the entire group of businesses is small businesses, and so they are creating jobs, shaping culture and we want to see them do really well here in our community. So we are going to be supporting them and working with other community partners and resources to help them to launch businesses,” says Siders.

Siders says one way to think about the Spark organization is a startup for startups.

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