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Why is it so hard to start a business?

Lack of Funding
Lack of expertise

How Local eliminates these obstacles so new businesses can expand.

1 year of support

Lean Rocket LOCAL removes common barriers for local entrepreneurs by providing resources, financial and legal technical assistance, training, and access to funding through a partnership with American 1 Credit Union.

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Fellows Program


10 teams are selected to participate in our fellows program. This intensive year-long cohort provides in depth access to mentors and milestone-based financial incentives.

Business Basics

Basics is a series of workshops and courses designed to help people learn and grow in what it takes to run a business. From finance to business planning.

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The Five Forks

As new female entrepreneurs, the LOCAL program has been a tremendous opportunity where we have gained insight into business fundamentals and been given tools and resources to dig deeper as needed. Additionally, we have been fortunate to meet wonderful people whom we have been able to form both professional and personal relationships with. We know this will continue to help our business grow tremendously!


A1 Waste

Garbage Collection service, serving Jackson and surrounding areas.



Shortie's started right in the home kitchen of CEO and founder Felicia Carter serving cheesecake jars, chocolate dipped sweets, and home made cakes. She has grown from there to now offering privately chef services and catering.

Get Involved

2023 Fellows
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Salon Virtuosa

Keyonda Parker

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Ashley's Sweet Indulgance

Ashley Bacon

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Gems of Jackson

Vittoria Jimerson

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Burnt Honey

Brandon Rice

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
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Baby Bear Burger

Marshawn Goodloe

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Curiouser Clay

Eli Zemper

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Gwens Greens

Gwen Hersha

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Zero Bar & Lounge

Josnelly Aponte

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Grace School of Dance

Lindsay Walsh

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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The Front Porch JXN

Kendra and Courtney Dolson

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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Alliance Service Brands

Nicholas Laporte

  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Advisory Council

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Henry Ford Allegiance Health

Teshna Thomas

Provide leadership and direction for the community outreach initiatives for the hospital. Develop, organize and manage strategies for community outreach, corporate and governmental affairs. Create and implement innovative promotional plans and events with a focus on building customer relationships. Work with hospital leadership to improve community loyalty and engagement.

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Malik Goodwin


GWJ is an economic development consulting firm that provides advisory services and program support to help its clients achieve job growth and sustainable solutions for the people they serve, and the environments that live, work and play.

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Carolyn Duncan

American 1 Credit Union - Jackson, MI

Carolyn is a graduate of Baker College, where she received her undergraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing. She has been with American 1 Credit Union since November of 2021 and brings over 20 years of retail management experience, including Five Below, Bath and Body Works, and American Eagle Outfitters. Carolyn has strong skills in customer experience, professional development, sales generation, expense control, and profit growth.

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Felicia Carter

Shorties Sweets Eats and Treats

Shorties Sweets Eats and Treats is a catering business located in Jackson Michigan. What started as a hobby has expanded into a small business, offering a variety of food and dessert services. Shorties offers more than just sweets and will be opening a custom food truck this summer 2022.

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Scott Fleming

Jackson Anchor Initiative

Fleming has been engaged in economic development and commercial real estate for over 25 years. He has led strategic planning efforts for large metropolitan areas, small communities, professional associations and nonprofit organizations.

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Sheila M. Everts, MA

TRUE Community Credit Union

Currently, I provide financial education to the community. I have taught at a local college, provided education to others to obtain their first home, increased credit scores and life skills. In addition, I have over 25 yrs. of owning several businesses, such as Mortgage companies, Real Estate Investing, Sports Bar, 24-hr gym, Furniture Store, and other small endeavors.

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Amanda Loveland

Jackson County Chamber of Commerce

Amanda is the Founder of Michigan Tribe, a nonprofit which provides events and funding for female entrepreneurs in Jackson County. She launched an online school for entrepreneurs in 2013, and has worked in manufacturing, skilled trades youth programming, and marketing and business consulting.

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Martha Fuerstenau

American 1 Credit Union - Jackson, MI

Martha is a graduate of both Alma College, where she received her undergraduate degree, and the University of Michigan, where she attended the Stephen M Ross School of Business for her Master of Business Administration. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Henry Ford Allegiance Health, on the Board of Directors for the Jackson County Economic Development Corporation, and on the Executive Committee for The Enterprise Group Board of Directors.

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Sarah Richmond

Dawn Foods

Multi-faceted work experience in business, nonprofit, and education fields. Currently manage international Corporate Giving Program. Skilled writer and collaborator.

advisory council

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Get involved

3 Ways To sponsor a fellow


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Milestone Grants +

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$10,000 Sponsorship
$5,000 Sponsorship

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Milestone Grants

$2,500 Sponsorship

Sponsor a FELLOW 

**To Learn More About Sponsorships, Please Click HERE

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