Operation Jumpstart Comes to Pemiscot County

by News Bureau on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct.10, 2011 – Those interested in jumpstarting their business idea or expanding their small business are invited to attend an exciting training opportunity coming to Pemiscot County in southeast Missouri.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will offer Operation JumpStart (OJS), a six-week training program to help aspiring entrepreneurs start or expand a business. Operation JumpStart will be offered at no charge starting on Oct. 25 through Dec. 6 at the Caruthersville High School. A one night class, “How To Start a New Business,” is offered as a pre-requisite to Operation JumpStart on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m, at the Pemiscot County Career and Technology Center in Hayti, Mo. Both of these programs are open to the public at no charge, but registration is required.

Operation JumpStart is an award-winning and nationally-recognized microenterprise training program which walks new and existing business owners through the process of designing a feasibility plan for their small businesses. A certified facilitator, along with various industry guest experts, will mentor and guide participants through small business concepts such as product pricing, competition profiling, marketing, cash flow management and specifics about the various types of legal structures a business can assume.

At the end of the free, six-week course, graduates can submit their plans in competition for start-up grant funding. Funding for the course and start-up capital is made possible through the CIE, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several local businesses that have donated funds to support the program.

Operation JumpStart has been very successful in other southeast Missouri counties and has helped in the creation or expansion of more than 200 new businesses and 300 jobs, according to Gina Harper, project coordinator for the CIE. Harper, who is also training coordinator for the program, said that a recent study by Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Economic and Business Research found the impact of OJS to be about $30 million in southeast Missouri. She said this means that “based on the types of businesses created and the number of employees per microenterprise, OJS has helped add $30 million to the local economy.”

“We are pleased Operation Jump Start and ‘How To Start a New Business’ are being offered to our residents here in Pemiscot County,” said John Ferguson II, economic developer with the Pemiscot County Port Authority. “The Operation JumpStart program is a leading small business development program and has demonstrated effectiveness in numerous southeast Missouri communities.”

Ferguson has partnered with the mayor’s office, several local banks and businesses to develop seed-capital support for the Operation JumpStart program in Pemiscot County. Other programmatic support has been provided by the Caruthersville Chamber of Commerce, the Pemiscot County Port Authority and local schools.

Seating is limited to 20 participants, and an application is required. To view more information about the class, visit www.semo.edu/cie/training. Registration online does not guarantee a seat in this class but will initiate the process of an application being sent to registrants. Please contact Susan Sterling at ssterling@semo.edu or call (573) 651-2286 to receive an application via email, mail or fax. Application deadline is Oct. 20.

Another CIE initiative, Renewing Rural Communities though Innovation (RRCI), will launch this fall in conjunction with the adult Operation JumpStart classes. Funded by a grant from the US Small Business Administration, RRCI is a community development program that will be working closely with Caruthersville High School, Pemiscot County Career & Technology Center, Chamber of Commerce, Caruthersville Downtown Association, and small businesses of Pemiscot County. This partnership will be working together to connect aspiring entrepreneurs and youth in Pemiscot County to local businesses and leaders for the purpose of developing a more entrepreneur-friendly community.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to advance the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the surrounding region. For more information, visit: www.semo.edu/cie.