Laura Harper is Plan Contest Winner

2017 Door County Business Plan Contest WinnerThe Door County Economic Development Corporation, in association with the UW-Green Bay Small Business Development Center, announced today that Laura Harper is the winner of the $1,000 cash award for the best business plan originating from the 16th annual Door County Entrepreneurial Training Program course conducted earlier this year.

Ms. Harper’s plan is to eventually create a communal art house and boutique featuring gifts and artisan made goods. She hopes to provide space for creative activities and offer workshops in a variety of mediums. She is currently scouting venues and gathering resources for a later date. A jewelry artist and painter by trade, Ms. Harper earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She brings more than 20 years of experience managing and directing businesses and creative nonprofits. Ms. Harper reported being interested in starting her own business and sought out the Entrepreneurial Training Program course to start developing a plan for a future date.

Laura Harper was among the dozen students representing ten start-up or existing local businesses in the class sponsored by DCEDC and the SBDC. The eight-week course covered such topics as Research, Marketing, Organizational Matters, Financial Planning and Projections and Managing Growth, and culminated with each of the participants writing a comprehensive business plan. This was the sixteenth year DCEDC has co-sponsored and offered the Entrepreneurial Training Program course in Door County.

“Laura wrote an incredible, well-articulated, thorough plan,” said DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman. “Due to her extensive research, strong analysis, and professional presentation, her plan received consistently high scores from all judges. All class participants are winners, however. By taking the time and putting in the effort to learn the skills of business planning, they have each greatly improved their chances of succeeding in whatever business venture they decide to pursue now or in the future.”

The $1,000 award was generously sponsored by Associated Bank, Bank of Luxemburg, and Nicolet National Bank. The award is to be used for business expenses. The Entrepreneurial Training Program course will again be offered in Door County beginning January 2018. Contact Caleb Frostman at the Door County Economic Development Corporation ( or 920-743-3113, ext. 203) for information about the class.

The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving the economic vitality of the county and its residents. Founded in 1989, DCEDC has been successful in helping existing businesses create and retain thousands of jobs through a myriad of programs and initiatives. Additionally, DCEDC places strong emphasis on fostering entrepreneurial instincts in county residents as well as those who vacation on the Door County Peninsula. Door County Economic Development Corporation offices are located within the small business incubator DCEDC founded in 1997 at 185 East Walnut Street in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

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