South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Celebrates Hustle SBE Cohort Five Graduates

GRANGER, Ind. (November 29, 2022) – Earlier this month, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership concluded its fifth HustleSBE cohort, a business bootcamp aimed toward providing support and assistance to minority and women entrepreneurs across the five-county region.

This eight-session program is dedicated to bringing resources on topics including capital, certifications, financial management, and human resources to minority and women-owned businesses.

Participants gathered for interactive learning led by HustleSBE facilitator Jess Koscher of Write Connections | strategy + design, LLC, a HustleSBE Cohort Three graduate. The Cohort Five members were joined by guest speakers from across the region that provided their expert knowledge and willingness to foster connections, including Levon Johnson from the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, Jacqueline Barton of Specialized Staffing and Jenny Frech from Soapy Gnome.

“I’ve loved Hustle,” said Erin Kinzel, founder of Kinzel Consulting. “The training has been great. I’ve loved having Jess as the facilitator for it. She really brings a depth of information, but also, she’s an entrepreneur. She understands what we’re going through, so I really valued her leadership. The speakers have been on fire. They have been amazing.”

HustleSBE sessions were held at the Beacon Central Office in Granger. This cohort was comprised of 55 percent African American or Black business owners, and 45 percent Multiracial, Hispanic or Latino, or Caucasian or White business owners, with 82 percent female and 18 percent male. Seventy-three percent have established businesses in St. Joseph County, with 27 percent based in Elkhart County. Cohort Five included businesses from arts and design, retail, professional and personal training and coaching, entertainment, hospitality, event services and transportation.

“It is always a joy to welcome a new cohort to the HustleSBE family,” said Bethany Hartley, President and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. “Previous graduates have come to graduation in support of Cohort Five, which is a testament to the community this program has created. We look forward to seeing what these dedicated entrepreneurs will do in the future, and the impact they’ll have on our region!”

Cohort Five Graduates include:
• Raina Adams, Live Beyond Inspired
• Adell Badgett, Dellstar VR
• Ruby Brower, A B Life and Enterprises, LLC
• Pamela Derr, Chips & Doodles
• Derald Gray, DG Visionaries
• Kelly Hofferth, Living Green
• Latonya Jennings, Ms Hunnies Cleaning
• Erin Kinzel, Kinzel Consulting
• Brenda Lane, Honey/Brown Boutique
• Rachel Mospan, Rachel Mospan Design
• Maricela Navarro, Oxfox Carriers

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting, and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit


Media Contact
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership