Spotlight Encore Cleveland: Entrepreneur Series

Three images show views of the Innovation Centers at the library

Launched in 2013 by the Cleveland Foundation, Encore Cleveland helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders an array of meaningful opportunities in the community upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers. In our “Spotlight Encore Cleveland” guest blog series, we go behind-the-scenes to explore programs offered through the Encore Cleveland network. In this blog, Cuyahoga County Public Library shares information about its Encore opportunities: 

With 27 branches, serving 47 communities, the Cuyahoga County Public Library is dedicated to building the future of reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement by offering access to digital and traditional resources, relevant programming and community partnerships.

The Encore Entrepreneurs series is a six-week program that helps budding entrepreneurs realize their dreams of starting and growing a successful business. Participants learn how to generate, cultivate and develop business ideas and concepts. Here’s how it works: 

  • In weeks one and two we focus on the business plan. Participants learn how to write an effective business plan that will be a roadmap for their business and a valuable communication tool for funders.
  • In week three the many legal aspects of owning a business are explored, including naming the business, licenses, registration, and more.
  • In week four we explore market segmentation and develop a marketing plan that distinguishes brand. We also discuss how to use social media to strategically market a business.
  • In week five we focus on how to find the financial support needed to start a business. We discuss different types of loans and share what financial information should be part of the business plan.
  • In week six the focus is on pricing for profit. Participants learn how to review financial statements to determine the costs and pricing for their business.

Participants who complete the Encore Entrepreneurs series qualify for the Advanced Entrepreneurs series which is designed to take participants through the funding stage.

The library is a great resource for budding entrepreneurs. In addition to the Encore Entrepreneurs series and Advanced Entrepreneurs series, the Cuyahoga County Public Library offers three Innovation Centers where local entrepreneurs or small business owners can design, fabricate prototypes or make product.

The Encore Entrepreneurs series is held six times a year at select branches across Cuyahoga County. Currently the program is being held at our Strongsville branch. For a list of upcoming Encore Entrepreneurs programs and current Innovation Centers please visit