Morning Light Launches its Second Cohort Supporting Local Entrepreneurs

Our Community

Battle Creek is a city built on innovation and entrepreneurship.  

In November of 2018, our Morning Light team in Battle Creek took root, designing and piloting a program with the hopes of cultivating a community of entrepreneurs. After five months of diving deep with our community to find the best way to support our local entrepreneurs and small businesses, what we learned is no secret. We were reminded that small businesses are the thread that connects a community together, and that in order to support our community, we have to support our small businesses. At our core we are all creators, dreamers, and entrepreneurs. When we create an ecosystem of supported entrepreneurs driven by empathy and shared experience, the whole city feels a collective sense of pride.


The Future of Entrepreneurship in Battle Creek

Last year we onboarded 13 small businesses that chose to accept the challenge of stepping outside of their comfort zone and daring to grow, with our support. Entrepreneurs in our cohort quickly learned that their largest asset is one another, and that engaging with your community makes the journey that much easier. When you walk the streets of Battle Creek in the future we know that things will be vastly different. Our dream is that Battle Creek businesses – both old and new –learn to live and grow together. To make each other stronger and help to make our community be the best that it can be.


It is our pleasure to introduce you to our newest group of entrepreneurs in Morning Light’s Launch Cohort! This is an amazing group of individuals that have taken the leap to learn, grow, and create a stronger Battle Creek.


Tomeka Stein – Bee Gifted LLC

Bee Gifted is a business that eliminates gift giving stress by providing a bespoke gift creation experience.



Esperanza Jamison – Bella’s Market

Bella’s market is a business that works to eliminate the stigma associated with cannabis use, with handcrafted apparel and accessories. 



India Frierson – Beloved Body Smoothie Bar

Beloved Body Smoothie Bar is a business that aims to educate people on plant based options by selling smoothies and acai/ smoothie bowls. 




Sonny Singh – Farm Estar

Farm Estar works to Provide platform for farmers to set up virtual farm stands which will allow local communities to access local farms’ fresh products to live healthier lives. 



Audrey Merlihan – Freedom Media

Freedom Media intends to serve Battle Creek as a whole (city news and event coverage), as well as being a reliable (and contractible) media company for local businesses and brands. 


Hexxon Villa – Hexx Design CO.

Hexx Design CO is a multimedia and design agency that has a variety of products and services available to assist other small businesses and artists in brand growth.



David Niniz- Hexx Design CO.

Hexx Design CO is a multimedia and design agency that has a variety of products and services available to assist other small businesses and artists in brand growth.  



Juliano & Daleth Jean-Jules – Island Style BBQ

“Through our unique dining experience, we seek to serve those who love Barbecue or Caribbean food and appreciate the Caribbean culture.  And for those who are open to trying something new, we are sure to have several cuisines to scintillate your palate. We offer Dine-in and Take-out service, as well as Catering for all events and occasions.”


Keishana Taylor – Keishanas Kreations

 Keishana’s Kreations is a business that creates personalized crafted items ranging from jewelry, cups, clothing and household items to name a few.



Kimberly Batterson – New Story Community Books 

New Story Community Books is an up and coming bookstore that curates their collection to ensure folks can see themselves in the books they read and see the lives of others. They are working to encourage young readers and writers to both consume and create art and literature. 


Caleb Minear – New Union Market

New Union Market is a local streetwear brand that creates one of a kind apparel with the hopes of instilling pride by way of creativity in Battle Creek!



Jessica McCrumb – Otterdance Yoga 

Otterdance is a business that provides Yoga instruction, creating a price point and location that makes yoga accessible/welcoming to a wide variety of community members.


Coweta Smith – SweetAddicts LLC 

Sweet Addicts is a local Bakery in Battle Creek looking to provide sweets to the Southwest Michigan area.



Essence Williamson – Williamson Cleaning Service LLC 

Williamson Cleaning Service provides both Commercial and Residential cleaning services in Southwest MI.




What We Do

The Morning Light Program was created to not only equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills needed to elevate their business to the next level, but also to create camaraderie amongst entrepreneurs in our community. During our time together, we surround our cohort with experts who help teach concepts and offer one-on-one support throughout this 6-month program. Through our Workshops, Peer to Peer Learning opportunities, and Technical Assistance & Coaching, we stress the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset and being adaptable to changing circumstances.


Local Mentors, Technical Assistance Providers, and a host of others unify to make up our Cohort Support Team. This team is dedicated to creating a safety net for our entrepreneurs to explore and test ideas. This freedom allows for genuine connection and organic learning opportunities. 


Starting and growing a business is challenging. It is something that requires bravery, vulnerability and resilience. We know that the journey of becoming an entrepreneur is often lonesome and feels as though no one understands quite what you’re going through. If we can encourage one entrepreneur and help them understand that they aren’t alone, and that they have a team of support backing them, then we’ve made a difference.