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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

USI announces recruitment for second BreakOut Program

Contact for more information:
Brandi Schwartz
Marketing Coordinator
Outreach & Engagement
In partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Division of Outreach and Engagement at the University of Southern Indiana will offer a second BreakOut Program to eight area small businesses. With grant dollars from the USDA Rural Development Office, the program will provide high-level resources to businesses to help them build on their successes and 'break out' to the next level.

The BreakOut Program offers access to a professional business resource team who specializes in marketing and sales, accounting, business management, and professional coaching. Participants will receive 30 to 50 contact hours with the team over a two to three month timeframe with written documentation from each work session.

Interested businesses who are beyond the initial start-up phase, and that meet the following criteria, are encouraged to apply:

- Employ 50 or fewer individuals
- Have less than $1 million in projected annual gross revenues
- Been in business one year or more
- Be able to invest $1,500 to cover a portion of the cost of services rendered
- Located in one of the following Indiana counties:

- Dubois
- Gibson
- Knox
- Perry
- Pike
- Posey
- Spencer
- Warrick

Gene Recker, manager of education and entrepreneurship for USI at Innovation Pointe, will facilitate the program and lead a team of professional consultants who will work with selected businesses.

"We had a very successful first round of the BreakOut Program last year and are looking forward to working with our next group of companies," said Recker. "Businesses on the verge of 'breaking out' and who would like access to professional consultants (considered experts in their respective fields), should apply to the program. With a minimal investment of $1,500, businesses will receive quality time, resources, and plans for moving their business forward."

"The BreakOut Program made it possible to implement ideas that I had wanted to do for several years but was unable to achieve due to the many aspects of running a business," said Paul Wehr, owner of Combined Talents in Huntingburg, Indiana and former BreakOut Program participant. "This opportunity gave me the ability to brainstorm short and long-term goals, discuss how to approach tasks, and decide if those steps were right for my business. The process opened my mind to different aspects of running my business."

The application deadline for the second BreakOut Program is Friday, December 16. Program participants will be selected and notified by Friday, January 6, 2012.

Additional information, including an online application, can be found at or by contacting Recker at 812/492-4394 or

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