BCDA’s Energizing Entrepreneurs Program: Success Stories

BCDA is focused on helping entrepreneurs

It’s an important time of year for all businesses but especially for our local small business owners. The Boone County Development Agency (BCDA) is focused on helping entrepreneurs move forward with their goals, and through a combination of grants, the BCDA Gap Financing Loan Program, and one of the organization’s newest programs, Energizing Entrepreneurs, the organization has invested more than $200,000 in local businesses.

Energizing Entrepreneurs Program

In 2019, BCDA created the Energizing Entrepreneurs Program to guide people from business dreams into a concrete plan. Designed as a four-step program, Energizing Entrepreneurs walks participants through each phase of creating and implementing their business plan:

  • Create a Thorough Business and Financial Plan
  • Develop and Implement an Organizational and Marketing Plan
  • Build a Support System of Other Local Business Owners and Young Professionals
  • Plan for Long-Term Success


An important aspect of the program is to help participants complete a cash flow analysis, which allows them to see what costs will be incurred versus profit. When they have a better understanding of the financial components of their business, they greatly improve their opportunity to plan for challenges and make decisions that will support their long-term goals. Completing each step of the Energizing Entrepreneurs Program earns participants grant funding totaling $5,000.

Hear from the participants

Since its inception, eight entrepreneurs have started the program. Three have completed the program, including Albion native, Brittany Childress. She opened Growth and Grace Counseling, LLC in 2020, and works as a therapist, offering in-person and telehealth care. 

“The Energizing Entrepreneurs Program and BCDA helped guide me in opening my business. Building a business from the ground up is a tall task and the resources I received from the program have been monumental in helping me build my dream job while simultaneously building a resource for the community.”

Chase Preister is another Boone County native who achieved success via Energizing Entrepreneurs. Through the program, Preister opened Rae Valley Restorations, an auto restoration shop located in Petersburg.

“I personally want to thank the Energizing Entrepreneurs Program and BCDA for the grant I was awarded last year. The program helped get my business started and the grant helped during these tough times while I was building my shop.”

Both Childress and Preister had dreamed of moving back home to Boone County and watched their business dreams come true after doing so.

Not every participant of Energizing Entrepreneurs is a Boone County native. Soon after making St. Edward her home, Hailey Jean Eckstein, D.C. entered the program with the goal of opening Valley Creek Chiropractic, LLC. Eckstein offers spinal, pediatric and extremity care, in addition to prenatal, pregnancy, and postnatal services. 

“The Energizing Entrepreneurs program helped me learn the basics of starting a business and all that it entails from business plans to financial planning. It provided me with the resources I needed to successfully plan and start my own business.”

Learn more about Energizing Entrepreneurs

In just two years, this program has helped eight aspiring business owners to take important steps to help build out their goal of business ownership.

Check out the Energizing Entrepreneurs page to learn more.