Ohio’s job-growing Shangri-La

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Most entrepreneurs would probably laugh if they heard that the Shangri-La of small business was in Dayton, Ohio. And it’s fair to ask what a relatively small community in the heart of the endemically struggling rust belt could offer to the nation’s small business community.

To answer that question, one has to physically go to Aileron, the professional management-training institute founded by former pet-food billionaire Clay Mathile. In 1999, Mathile sold his company Iams to Procter and Gamble for $2.3 billion, and while he could of devoted that fortune to any number of charities, he chose to focus on small business.

The more than 10-years-old Aileron, so named for the flaps on the wings of an airplane used for control and guidance, started out as the Center for Entrepreneurial Education in Dayton, Ohio. The small business clinic opened a full-scale campus in April of 2008, and in the two years since, it has already seen about 1,800 clients pass through its doors.

Full story: Ohio’s Job-Growing Shangri-La –