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1687 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Caroline Wojan

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I haven't had any official training besides my English degree. I grew up on Beaver Island in a family with a long entrepreneurial history. Growing up, I worked for my father who is the local realtor. He became a broker to help promote the island to provide work for his father's construction company. That's where I learned about business development.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Hyundai-Kia. They found us.

Where did you find your first employee?
Van Hoek, Ph.D. She was working part time in the University of Michigan Linguistics Department when she took an interest in ESL and applied for a position as our curriculum coordinator.

Have you ever promoted an intern to employee status?
We have not yet promoted an intern to employee status, but we are looking forward to doing so.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We are self-funded.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
We are a unique state and we have a lot to offer. Our openness to diversity provides us with valuable mindshare.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
No. I don't believe Michigan is quite where it needs to be. Developing more local private investment groups such as the Bank of Ann Arbor will help small businesses in Michigan get the loans and support they need to grow. With this, we can develop independently of the national financial crisis. The key is staying local.

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