Start a Business that Fills Important Gaps in the Community

Most people start a business because they are passionate about something, whether that’s candles, coffee, rock climbing, or something else. Small business owners love providing a specific product or service to their customers. I recently sat down with several entrepreneurs who have participated in Hannah Grimes programs. I was amazed by how passionate they were about serving our local community. Sure, one entrepreneur might love burlesque, but she decided to start a business in Keene to help other women in the community heal from trauma and embrace their bodies. There are so many ways to serve the community and our entrepreneurs are doing just that. 

Following their lead, the Hannah Grimes Center has been developing sector specific programs to serve entrepreneurs that are filling important gaps in our community. For example, the pandemic showcased a need for more local farm and food businesses as chain grocery stores struggled to stock the shelves. In 2022, Hannah Grimes successfully ran its first sector specific cohort programs: Farm Business Lab and Food Business Lab. We have recently developed and expanded resources for small businesses in the biotech, childcare, energy, and housing sectors. Each of these is a sector that we find our current entrepreneurial ecosystem to be lacking.

We are always happy to help businesses of all kinds in the Monadnock Region and beyond, but there are some business ideas that our staff are particularly passionate about. If you want to start a business, but don’t want to be the fifth pizza place on the block, keep reading to learn about the types of businesses our staff would love to see in the Monadnock Region.


Start a Business the Monadnock Region Missing

Julianna said she would love to see “a vibrant Latin dance scene to host congresses, workshops, and salsa/bachata dance parties on the weekends” as well as a “dance supply store with second hand options where possible.”

Keeping with the fitness theme, Nicole said, “I’d love to see a bungee fitness studio or trampoline park.”

Sara shared that she would like to get more use out of the things she uses everyday like clothes and shoes. A local cobbler or mender would help us all “get away from planned obsolescence” by fixing things that are meant to be fixed rather than thrown away. This is something the entire staff is passionate about. Julianna added, “It would also be great to have an upcycling business so that types of clothes that folks are looking for but can’t necessarily be found in thrift stores could be available.”

Megan is interested in seeing an art therapy studio around Keene. While we have a vibrant arts sector, we are lacking creative mental health support.

I would love to see an arcade in our region. As a 22-year-old, it often feels like the only affordable activity for young adults in Keene is bar hopping. There is definitely opportunity for more creative businesses to pop up with sober activities. My current go-to is axe-throwing at the Keene Axe House and I’d love to see more businesses like that gain traction in our area.

If you want to start a business like any of these, let us know!

Written by Programs & Development Coordinator, Lillian Chase.