Building a Business on Main Street, Colorado | Leeds Business School

Business from Leeds 2022 | Full Question

Erick Mueller on a motorcycle in the streets of Stirling city centre.

Erick Mueller rode his vintage Harley across the state for the Country Seminar Series, where he taught with emerging entrepreneurs and local leaders the ins and outs of starting a business and growing a business. Below is a scene from a recent workshop in the small town of Stirling.

In rural Colorado, passion projects — not millions in funding — are powering startups.

Two women in a rural entrepreneurship class do a group exercise together.

The town 142 miles northeast of Boulder’s startup mecca is Stirling. Known as the “Queen City of the Plains,” it has a population of 15,000 people with an average household income of $55,000 and has the largest display of bronze art in the region.

Here, most entrepreneurs aren’t looking to start the next billion-dollar company. Most people want to find a way to make a living and maintain their current lifestyle. Still, there are others eager to launch the next big thing.

They all have one thing in common: they want to own a business that comes from passion. Whether it’s their side hustle, lifestyle business or growing business – they all aspire to make it their life’s work. While the possibilities exist, living outside the city can be difficult to find the resources they need: professional business advice, access to a community of investors and other entrepreneurs.

Erick Mueller knelt in a classroom, explaining a concept to an entrepreneur sitting at his desk.So when Erick Mueller comes into town, balancing resources and insights on his vintage Harley, people take notice.

Mueller, executive director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, leads Leeds on the Road to Uncovering Entrepreneurship: Rural Colorado Symposium Series. Working closely with local community partners, this is a two-day workshop on starting or growing a business, where teachers and local entrepreneurs teach how to create in-demand products or services, avoid pitfalls and make a profit.

A group of entrepreneurs celebrate outside after finishing the course.

Founders celebrate after completing a rural entrepreneurship course led by Leeds and its Deming Centre.

Business of Leeds Magazine Deming Center for Entrepreneurship Socialize with Leeds

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