Turning lemons into lemonade: entrepreneurship - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Turning lemons into lemonade: entrepreneurship

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Beloit man hopes to start own business; keep jobs local Beloit man hopes to start own business; keep jobs local

By Teresa Mackin - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

BELOIT (WKOW) -- Being laid off leaves employees at a cross roads: the main question being, 'Where do I go from here?'

Some Rock County residents are now deciding to take matters into their own hands.

"Taking lemons and turning it into lemonade, is basically what it turns into," says Beloit native David Kuhnle. A year ago, Kuhnle was laid off from his job as a machinist when the economy took a downturn, and faced with an all-too familiar hurdle.

Kuhnle searched for a job in Beloit, the city sitting at the highest unemployment rate in the state: more than 18 percent.

Kuhnle says, "I have a family here. I own property here, and it's like, do I really want to uproot everything and leave my support system? Or can I help my cit. and my town, by building a business and getting people employment?"

Kuhnle is one of 21 enrolled in a Rock County entrepreneur class. He's hoping to open a restaurant of his own, and hoping for federal and local grants to do that.

Mark Burwell is the national executive director for Entrepreneur Hub. He was in Rock County last week teaching both those with their own businesses and those looking to start. It's an opportunity that could come in handy for a county that seemingly is beginning to recover.

Bob Borremans, with the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, says, "Dislocations slowed down dramatically.. we are beginning to see some signs of recovery."

Recovery although slow, and now one avenue that could keep jobs where they're needed.

Kuhnle says, "Help me get back on my feet to where I can give back to my city, my county, you know, my home."

That class was for both unemployed and those already with their own businesses. Rock County Job Center leaders tell me they've seen some job growth in the past six months: 200 jobs from a total population of 9-thousand unemployed.

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