The Southwest Florida Enterprise Center Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit organizations, was created to enable effective fundraising, ongoing support and development of the SWFL Enterprise Center and its programs, separate from the City of Fort Myers support.
The foundation is actively working to provide the necessary funding to enable the development of new services including but not limited to:
- The new 5,600 sq. ft. Commercial Kitchen and Bakery due to begin construction in 2017
- The development and expansion of urban and community gardens
- A special re-entry program designed to provide life training skills and jobs for those returning from incarceration
- Free Workshops & Seminars to help educate small business owners that are wanting to grow their businesses
We know that the City of Fort Myers cannot solely manage the wide range of costs for developing all of the services the City needs to help grow the small business market. The foundation was created to help raise those funds and empower the community to create, develop and implement more services required to meet the needs of this generation of business owners.
Board of Directors
John Reed CPA John Reed is the founder of Empowerment Works a volunteer run 501(c)(3) not for profit charitable organization formed to promote entrepreneurship and careers. The organizers believe those in need can be most effectively helped by assisting them to be self-sufficient.
G. Michael Love, JD, BEO
Michelle Jones has been with the foundation since inception and brings over 26 years of operational management to the team. Daily, Michelle communicates with and supports all of the small business owners leasing space at the Enterprise Center. The social media marketing and maintenance managed by Michelle has proven to be very effective in educating the small business market as well as building a following of community members as we introduce new services for the community.
John PfarrJohn is a Partner of the firm Pfarr & Rethore and a member of its estate planning and corporate governance group. He is nationally recognized as a leader in the estate planning field. He continually strives to provide unparalleled service to his clients. John is also co-founder and principal of Galahad, Ltd., designing wealth transfer strategies for high net-worth individuals and families, and facilitating proper administration of the plan once implemented; Professionals’ Back Office, LLC, an organization providing “back office” functions to law offices nationally, principally estate planning services; Strategic Philanthropy, LLC, a consulting company to non-profit organizations and which also provides charitable trust administration only for our estate planning clients. He was formally an Adjunct Professor, The Academy of Multidisciplinary Practice at Michigan State University and a Faculty Member, The Esperti Peterson Institute’s Advanced Estate Planning Studies Program, and a Contributing Reviewer, Conspectus Current, the Practitioners’ Review of What’s Current and Relevant. He is a Fellow, The Esperti Peterson Institute and a member of Wealthcounsel, the Advisors Forum, Planned Giving Council of Rhode Island; Rhode Island Bar Association; RIBA’s Probate and Trust Committee.
Southwest Florida Enterprise Center
The Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, located at the gateway to Fort Myers just 2 miles East from Interstate 75 on state highway 82 at: 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Suite 5, Fort Myers, FL 33916
The facility was completed in July 2008. It has over 40,000 square feet, which includes 2,000 square feet of leaseable office space, 30,000 square feet of leaseable light industrial/warehouse space and additional training and conference rooms.
It is a business incubator dedicated to assisting start-up or early stage businesses. Its programs, workshops and seminars help educate business owners in a wide range of subjects. The Center also provides businesses with a physical location from which to operate and provides additional technical assistance to owners to help them build a strong and long lasting business.
It serves all types of business owners. Anyone who can produce a product or deliver a service needed by the growing Southwest Florida market. Therer have been numerous seminars and workshops held at then Enterprise Center including the Entrepreneur's School, which is a six week course teaching most of the basics to entrepreneurship. It has held numerous Bookkeeping Classes, which is a four week course taught using Quickbooks. These classes normally sell out early, so please contact the main office at: (239) 321-7085 or visit their Facebook Page to find out about the upcoming Workshops.
To help the small business community, it has also developed a monthly Business To Business (B2B) Luncheon. This FREE event allows business owners from all over come together and network while learning about new business topics each month. All while being offered a FREE light lunch as well, although the luncheon does require prior Registration.
Numerous speakers have donated their time to teach a variety of topics. The luncheon is held on the third Wednesday of each monthfrom 11:30 am to 1:00 pm in the SWFL Enterprise Center Classroom (Door #6). For more information on the B2B Luncheon, please see their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/swfec or to register for the next B2B Luncheon, please visit their Eventbrite page.
The mission of the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center is to be a learning laboratory for entrepreneurial enterprises and to provide assistance and support to the entrepreneur so that he or she may realize the full potential of their enterprise and of themselves as business owners and managers.
Services available through SWFEC include:
- Accounting assistance
- Business management and presentation training
- Consulting services:
- Business planning
- Information technology
- Legal assistance
- Procurement (helping buyers of equipment, parts, materials and supplies make efficient purchases)
* These services are provided by appointment only. Call for more information to: (239) 321-7085.
Lease holders on the facility are entitled to:
- Two parking spaces
- Kitchennette use (referigerator, coffee machine, microwave and vending machines)
- Mentoring programs
- Networking with other businesses and community officials
- Onsite management
- Phone, fax, and copy support
- Reception area
- Custodial (cleaning and maintenance)
- Free Utilities (electricity, water are included in the rent but not internet/cable)