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NKY Rekindle Program Helps Entrepreneurs Get Started

Do you have a great idea for a business but don’t know where to start? Good news: There’s a great resource available right here in your backyard.

Nearly four years ago, Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC) established Rekindle Micro-Enterprise, a comprehensive program that provides self-employment training, access to funding and continuing support to aspiring entrepreneurs.  

“We are here to help our entrepreneurs address the challenges facing their businesses. We have the resources to support them with business training and education,” said Ella Frye, Small Business Director at NKCAC. 

Development training course topics include how to write a business plan, tips for obtaining financing, common accounting and tax issues, the basics of legalities and business licensing, and marketing and promotions.  

Recently, the program celebrated its 25th six-week session held in Northern Kentucky and saluted the more than 250 participants who have completed the course. Of those, 75 entrepreneurs have gone on to develop successful business start-ups, including Randal Teufel of TeufelMacht Handstitiched Leather who sells his wares on Etsy and at several local markets including The City Flea in Cincinnati. 

“Ms. Frye and the Rekindle class are great,” said Teufel. “The class was a great starting point to develop our business from the ground up. The class covers all the fundamentals of business and is beneficial to any micro-entrepreneur. 

“Moreover, Ms. Frye tailors the class to address specific questions of the students and is able to provide contacts for further information. The biggest takeaways for TeufelMacht were understanding business basics, like managing cash flow and setting goals and projections. This enabled us to start scaling our business and set us up for success going into our in-person sales.”   

Abigail Cunningham, a Rekindle participant and owner of Dirty Feet Pet Care in Covington, echoed Teufel’s sentiments and said the program also helped connect her to the local business community. 

“The Rekindle program helped fine tune my business. I started Dirty Feet Pet Care out of college. Before I knew it, I was walking and pet-sitting 12 hours a day. Learning better business practices, with regards to marketing and cash flow, I was able to take on a manager role and hire employees,” said Cunningham. “Rekindle brought me into the business community. After the classes, I joined a networking group and have referred people from the group. It was a great way to learn how to take the tools they teach you and add a personal touch,” she added. 

Scott Stilkey of Engineered Business Systems also credits Rekindle and its seminars for helping him find success as a small business owner. 

“When starting a small business, you have to wear a lot of hats and take on duties that you know little or nothing about,” said Stilkey. “The seminar was a big help in making me more aware of these duties and providing guidance to help me succeed as a small business owner. The guest lecturers were knowledgeable and Ella was a great resource.” 

The next session of classes begins at the end of July. For more information on the Rekindle program or to request an application, visit

Staff report/Image via Rekindle website