Curriculum provides more than “textbook” knowledge, says recent graduates
A good idea and passion often plant the seeds of a new business concept. However, the reality of successfully launching a new, sustainable business requires much more than mere enthusiasm. Fortunately for Eastern Shore entrepreneurs and business owners an intense arsenal of resources and knowledge are available through a 10-week course called ShoreVenture. The program is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC), Easton. Registration for the spring class at Chesapeake College is currently underway.
ShoreVenture is designed to provide guidance and support in a group-oriented environment, and is taught by actual Eastern Shore entrepreneurs. The course is based on the nation’s leading entrepreneur training program called NewVenture, which was developed by the Kauffman Foundation. Classes will be held on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., starting March 19th and ending May 21. The fee of $295.00, and is 100% refundable upon satisfactory completion of the course. Register online at shoreventure.com. For more information, call (410) 770-9330.
For three recent graduates the course provided not only practical knowledge that could be implemented right away, but also support and technical know-how that they will use to sustain and grow their businesses.
For Barbara Reed, RN, administrator of a home health business in Chestertown called Loving Touch Home Care, LLC, the 10-week class was well worth the time for the plentiful resources as well as the networking opportunities. “For me the vision was there, but sometimes when I was in class listening I realized I may have done some things differently if I had taken the course sooner. The textbook we used in the class is on my desk and I refer to it often,” she says. “For the way I learn it was the networking that was the best part for me. I not only had the benefit of taking the class with other people who were going through what I was, but my instructors and other resource people available to me through the course are helping me as I implement my business plan,” she adds.
Classmate Mary Jeeter found the financial section of ShoreVenture to be most beneficial for her as she established Another Look, a consignment store in Denton. “I felt like I knew a lot going into the course, but I had no idea how to write a business plan. The financial part helped me out a lot,” she says. “The class speakers helped bring all of the topic to life, and I found it helpful to get ideas from my classmates as well,” she adds.
The biggest takeaway for fellow classmate Stacey Tibbitt of Easton, founder of Mini Messages, was the classroom experience and learning how to write a business plan. “Although the class was a huge time commitment I looked forward to attending class. The time flew by, and I enjoyed being around people who were doing what I was doing and going through what I was,” Tibbitt says. “The class taught me that a business plan is not just for everybody else, but also very much a tool for me,” she adds.
ShoreVenture curriculum includes:
- Assessing the feasibility of a business idea and how that concept matches the participant’s personal vision;
- Determining the appropriate steps for small business success;
- Defining target market and discovering competitive advantage;
- Identifying creative marketing tools, key issues and strategies for operating a viable business;
- Establishing appropriate cash flow projections and recordkeeping requirements; and
- Examining and discussing the problems and pitfalls frequently encountered when starting a small business.
For information on course content or the Chesapeake College spring ShoreVenture class, call ESEC at (410) 770-9330. Registration is underway.
Founded in 2006, ESEC works to develop and enhance an entrepreneurial ecosystem on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. ESEC provides training; services and programs to help business owners and entrepreneurs succeed by creating greater access to capital, including revolving and nano-loan fund programs. ESEC also offers educational programs that develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.