Advice for accidental business start-ups |

Advice for accidental business start-ups

EDP offers seminars for entrepreneurs

Nicole Inglis

— An economic downturn breĀ­eds a different kind of workforce, said Darcy Trask, Moffat County Economic Development Partnership director.

With high unemployment levels, some turn to alternate sources of income by starting a small business.

These are known as "accidental entrepreneurs."

"It's been a while since we had a big downturn and we haven't needed to use that term for a while," Trask said. "These are people who didn't think they were planning in their life to start a business, but they turn to a different opportunity because they take a look at their skills and say, 'What can I do instead of working for someone else?"

In an effort to facilitate appropriate and sound business plans, the EDP, in partnership with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Northwestern Community College, will offer a series of seminars for entrepreneurs.

Classes will begin at 1 p.m. today on the second floor of the Moffat County Courthouse.

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A second opportunity to participate in the series will take place at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The classes are free to those who are unemployed and registered at the Colorado Workforce Center.

For the general public, the classes cost $10 each, however Trask said if payment is an issue, the EDP will offer scholarships to those who want to be involved.

The first class is open to those with and without business ideas.

"Some don't know at all what they want to do and just want to know what's involved," she said. "Or, there could be someone not in the unemployed category who would just like to learn."

She said the classes will focus on building a financial model to find out if a business is financially sound.

"A lot of people just don't know how to put together a set of projection financials to see if their idea is worth it," Trask said. "From there, if they feel like their idea might be feasible, then they can come to the other classes.

"The people who come will most likely know what their skill set is and know what they're good at."

Helping accidental entrepreneurs is not just a service for the people of Moffat County. It also can provide an extra spark for the local economy.

Trask said all too often people will dive into a small business without thinking it through.

An entrepreneur might sign a lease on a building and open their doors on a business model that was never feasible in the first place.

Trask said it's healthy for the unemployed and the local economy to know what will work and what won't before opening doors.

"We would like to help people start businesses that would generate the kind of income they're looking at," she said. "Sometimes we think of a great business idea, and it makes $200 a year. That's profitable, yes, but it's not really acceptable.

"We feel like we are successful when we help people start businesses they should start and when they don't start businesses they shouldn't start. Both are positive for the local economy."

If you go

What: How to start your own business seminar

When: 1 p.m. today, 8:30 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Second floor of the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way

Cost: Free for the unemployed who are registered at the Colorado Workforce Center. Scholarships are available for the public.

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