Growth via entrepreneurship

Monthly workshops aimed at would-be business owners

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Giving people the resources to start their own businesses is the goal of a series of workshops that begins Wednesday.

The Colorado Mountain College Small Business Development Center and the Steamboat Springs Economic Development Council partnered to offer a monthly workshop aimed at Yampa Valley residents who currently aren't operating a business but want to be.

Each workshop will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month in room 300 of Bogue Hall on the CMC campus.

The classes are being underwritten by the Economic Development Council and offered at no cost to participants.

"Moffat County residents are welcome," said Scott Ford, CMC business counselor.

The workshops will help individuals determine whether they have the right personalities and skills to start and manage a business, whether they have good business ideas and how much money will be needed to start their businesses.

Workshops will give participants the tools to move forward with their plans.

"You are not born knowing this," Ford said.

Offering the workshops is part of the "Economic Gardening" strategy adopted by the Economic Development Council. Developing business skills is the key to successful economic gardening, Ford said.

Economic gardening means "growing your own" -- enhancing existing businesses.

Colorado Northwestern Community College-Craig also offers several opportunities for entrepreneurs. Independent learning classes are available, each with open registration until April 1.

Courses include:

n Small business management 1 -- A yearlong class providing business training for small business owners with in depth study of record keeping, financial statements, marketing analysis and management strategies.

n Starting a small business -- Step-by-step training to help set up a business. Topics will include financing, legal structure, licenses and permits, insurance, financial management, hiring, business expenses, IRS rules, how to draft a business plan and home-based businesses.

n Record keeping for small business -- This course covers sash accounting vs. accrual, recording income, credit sales and more.

n Marketing for a small business -- New strategies for marketing, including Internet marketing.

n Financing a small business -- Learn how to choose the most appropriate avenue for a loan. The class addresses credit scores, personal financial statements and business financial statements.

According to Kaye Jacobson, regional director of the Central Rockies division of the Small Business Development Center, the center is working to get workshops in the Craig area.

"Our mission is to help all small businesses," she said. "We have over 30 different workshops ready to go. People will have programs in Craig. They don't need to drive to Steamboat, but they're welcome to do so."

The first workshop, "How to Buy and Sell on eBay" is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 3 at The Center of Craig. Call the Craig Chamber of Commerce at 824-5689.

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