Progress Lakeshore, Manitowoc County’s economic development agency, is starting a new small business mentoring program that brings together peers and a mentor for monthly meetings to tackle a wide variety of topics.

Circles of Seven, or C7, is offered by MartinKarl Consulting, an Illinois-based economic development and small business development consulting agency.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 45% of all new businesses fail in the first five years of operation. Progress Lakeshore intends to slow that business failure rate through this peer-based mentoring program.