Best Small Business Resources in the Cleveland-Akron Area

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Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Ohio has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Cleveland-Akron area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Ohio.

Resources Available in your Area

Flashstarts

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

Description

Flashstarts is an accelerator and funding program that offers services from small, two-day workshops to 90-day programs. You can also find coworking space and marketing strategies through this organization. 

Restrictions

Must be a high growth, technology-oriented company. 

Works with Companies in These Stages:

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Idea

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Planning

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Startup

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Growth

Visit Website

CONTACT INFORMATION:

50 Public Square, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-220-0200
info@flashstarts.com

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 8 am - 5 pm


Cleveland Public Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

Offers Free Service

Description

The Cleveland Public Library is great for entrepreneurs who want to do research for their business. The library houses several databases for topics such as demographics and geographic population distribution, industry information, and economic standings.

Restrictions

A library card may be required to access some services.

Works with Companies in These Stages:

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Idea

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Planning

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Startup

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Growth

Visit Website

CONTACT INFORMATION:

325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
216-623-2800
information@cpl.org

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - SAT: 10 am - 6 pm

 


Cleveland-Akron SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.

Works with Companies in These Stages:

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Idea

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Planning

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Startup

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Growth


Economic and Community Development Institute of Cleveland

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

Description

The ECDI is primarily a funding operation. It is ideal for people who cannot be funded through other means because they have poor credit. They have a training center where they cover the basics of business management and workshops where they cover industry-specific material. The ECDI does charge for some of its classes and workshops.

Restrictions

In order to apply for funding, you must have a credit score of 590 or better, at least 2 years of tax records, and some form of collateral for the loan.

Works with Companies in These Stages:

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Idea

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Planning

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Startup

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Growth

Visit Website

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1655 Old Leonard Ave.
Columbus, OH 43219
614-559-0115


Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc Cleveland-Akron

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

Description

Women's Business Centers are nationwide programs established by the SBA to assist women in starting small businesses. Some of these centers are combined with other local organizations and use that relationship to offer even more services. Each Women's Business Center has counselors who can provide mentorship and assistance with business planning. Women’s Business Centers also provide a network of other businesses, and some have loan programs available

Restrictions

The Women's Business Centers are, as the name implies, meant for women primarily.

Works with Companies in These Stages:

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Idea

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Planning

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Startup

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Growth

Visit Website

CONTACT INFORMATION:

7000 Euclid Ave., Suite 203
Cleveland, OH 44103
216-912-5655


Ohio SBDC at Cleveland State University

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.

Works with Companies in These Stages:

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Idea

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Planning

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Startup

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Growth