Earlier this month North Shore Bank announced the 11 entrepreneurs who were chosen for sponsorship through The Lonely Entrepreneur, a non-profit whose goal is to empower both current and aspiring Black business owners.

The Learning Community is a program through The Lonely Entrepreneur that aims “to arm [entrepreneurs] with knowledge, tools and support needed to start or grow a business,” according to a North Shore Bank news release. It will provide helpful tools such as “24/7 community access to other entrepreneurs, group coaching with experts, 350 learning modules, hundreds of templates needed for business growth, hundreds of vendor reviews and discounts” for participants.

As an added bonus to the entrepreneurs who received funding through North Shore Bank, they will also have a dedicated North Shore Bank commercial banker provided to answer questions, offer solutions and help with overall business growth.

Tek Help, LLC

Among those chosen was Anthony Ratelis, owner of Tek Help, LLC in Racine. The computer repair company aims at helping businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations to keep their electronics in good shape.

Ratelis does more than just computer repair; he cares for the community as well and has incorporated that into his business. When speaking of Racine, he acknowledged, “we have a population that needs help.”

In an effort to be part of the solution, Tek Help distributed three Thanksgiving Turkey Baskets this year in what Anthony hopes to be the first of many giveaways.

“We aim to make this a yearly giveaway, for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said the business owner. “We are fortunate to have a business and we want to give back.”

Anthony Ratelis, owner of Tek Help, LLC in Racine repairs a cell phone. – Photo Credit: Anthony Ratelis
Tek Sessions

Another exciting program on the horizon for Tek Help is what Anthony is calling “Tek Sessions,” which will be free to attend. Tek Sessions will address everyday issues that people struggle with regarding technology. Participants will have access to electronics while at the sessions to apply what they are learning.

One example of these sessions is spam education. Learning to tell the difference between spam emails and/or phone calls from legitimate ones is growing increasingly difficult. This session would focus on learning the warning signs for fraud and the proper way to deal with them.

The elderly are particularly at risk for these types of scams. Ratelis noted that even his own parents, who are intelligent people, have fallen prey to such scams. This was a significant reason he began planning for these sessions.

Before the world was stricken with a global pandemic, Tek Help was scheduled to assist in technology upkeep and repairs at a local veterans’ home. Unfortunately, that was unable to happen, but these are prime examples of what Anthony looks forward to doing in the future as part of his commitment to giving back to the community.

Other Learning Community Funding Recipients

The remaining winners of The Lonely Entrepreneur funding are:

  • Elizabeth Johnson, owner of Rockitacos in Kenosha
  • Jeoffrey Hutcherson, owner of CinnerG Systems LLC and Get Happy Voice in Oconomowoc
  • Angelique Gray, owner of Care Management Plus LLC in Germantown
  • Tykia Williams, owner of Such a Doll Boutique in Brown Deer
  • Corine Lawson, owner of Transportation Service in Milwaukee
  • Janice Johnson, owner of On the Bayou in Milwaukee
  • Jeanie Carr, owner of Greens and Things LLC in Milwaukee
  • Shelly DeRuyter, owner of Signature Auto Detail in Milwaukee
  • Angel Washington, owner of Angel Feathers Boutique LLC in Milwaukee
  • Daniel Gilbert, owner of Lead by Example LLC in Green Bay

We are so excited to support these deserving entrepreneurs as they continue through their journey of building and growing their businesses. In addition to the Learning Community, the entrepreneurs will receive a dedicated North Shore Bank commercial banker who will help them through every step of the way.

Margaret Capper, senior vice president of Commercial Lending at North Shore Bank

About North Shore Bank

Founded in 1923 and headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, North Shore Bank is a mutual savings bank with assets of over $2.5 billion and 45 offices throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Wisconsin locations are in metro Milwaukee, Germantown, Ozaukee County, Racine, Kenosha, Appleton, Menasha, Green Bay and surrounding areas, Burlington, Union Grove, Muskego, and Door County.