Rise in young entrepreneurs in the Green Bay area

Published: Feb. 19, 2019 at 4:28 PM CST
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Downtown Green Bay and surrounding areas are seeing a rise in young entrepreneurs who are bringing new and creative ideas to the area.

A place where some of those entrepreneurs can collaborate and branch out is inside the Brown County Central Library building on Pine Street. Garritt Bader and his business partners have found success in a project they call "Rise & Grind." It’s a community space for entrepreneurs.

“We opened this for entrepreneurs, those that work for a company out of town, need a place to hang out, something that's modern, nicely lit, coffee shop where a lot of people hang out,” said Bader.

The owner of the coffee shop connected to Rise & Grind, Foster Douglas, is a prime example of that. He travels between Green Bay and California.

“It's almost a live experiment where, here's someone wanting to open up a place, doing everything you need to run a business and providing a service that we want, and yet trying to build a life for himself," said Bader.

It's the startups and young business minds recently taking over Green Bay and the downtown area.

“We're beginning to hear more and more of people who grew up in Green Bay are coming back to their city, and they're coming back here and they're discovering that it's much different from when they left,” said Jeff Mirkes, executive eirector of Downtown Green Bay, Inc.

Mirkes said there's a new generation of young entrepreneurs setting up creative spaces, wanting to work independently but together with a community of fellow small business owners.

“People want to control their own schedules and they want to control their own destiny and so it's exciting to see we now have an environment and a community that is very supportive of a young entrepreneur,” said Mirkes.