Calderwood Enterprises

Northern Michigan-based contractor finds essential business skills through small business workshops with the Michigan Small Business Development Center

Fred Sliger, owner of Calderwood Enterprises, used his skills as a civil engineer to begin his contracting and construction business with a focus on projects in the Upper Peninsula.

Sliger prides himself on Calderwood’s ability to take on unique projects and work with challenging terrain, such as painting buildings at Sleeping Bear Dunes and installing a sewer system at Pictured Rocks.

As Calderwood Enterprises grew, so did their ambition to take on larger projects. Being an engineer by trade, Sliger felt he had some gaps in his business acumen that held him back, so he turned to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for help.

“Starting out, I had absolutely no training in business,” said Sliger. “They don’t teach you how to run a business in engineering school; I’ve learned everything I know about business from MEDC.”

Sliger participated in several training courses with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and also got connected with a marketing expert to help craft a digital presence for Calderwood Enterprises.

The business now has its first website and Google Business page, vastly expanding the online visibility of the company.

With his newfound business knowledge and improved marketing plan, Sliger hopes to land larger projects in the near future. He has set his sights on working with shoreline stabilization, campground management and other building projects on the Upper Peninsula’s lakeshore.

Calderwood Enterprises was recently recognized with a PTAC Best Small Business award from the 2022 Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards, which Sliger says is an exciting way to be recognized by his peers.

“I’m hoping this accolade, in addition to more availability of large-scale jobs in the state, can help us get some of these projects that our company is aiming for,” Sliger said.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) enhances Michigan’s economic well-being by providing consulting, training and research for new ventures, existing small businesses and advanced technology companies. Learn more about SBDC and other entrepreneurial programs offered by the MEDC at: