Akron library’s Microbusiness Center offers more than just co-working space

While not a business counselor, [Linda] Hale sees herself as a “director to the next step, and probably a bit of a cheerleader.”

Hale, who does not judge or rate the business ideas people bring, helps guide patrons to the information and tools they need. That information might come from the library’s vast resources or from other entrepreneurial groups.

Many nonprofit groups dip into the same funding vat, but because of its relationship with the library, the Microbusiness Center is unique, Hale said.

“We don’t have an agenda,” she said. “The library is going to be here 10 years from now whether is Microbusiness Center is or not. And I think that’s also important because sometimes everybody is vying for that same nonprofit money … Sometimes there’s a tendency to be worried about referring people to another agency, but from my perspective, I want to utilize every agency in town.”

And Hale, who is Akron chapter coordinator of SunDown RunDown and has been involved in the University of Akron’s Entrepreneur Immersion week, is connected enough to navigate the complex landscape of those agencies, whether it be reaching out to JumpStart, SCORE, OSC Tech Lab, the Akron Global Business Accelerator or the Ohio Small Business Development Center.