Small Business Development Training Coming to Park Hills

by News Bureau on Thursday, Feb. 09, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 9, 2012 — Are you ready to be part of an elite group of entrepreneurs who are realizing their dreams of small business ownership? Do you want to “jumpstart” an idea or give your current business that needed boost? If so, you can’t afford to miss the no-charge training opportunity that will be offered soon in Park Hills, Mo., courtesy of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University.

The six-week course, called Operation JumpStart (OJS), is a nationally-recognized, highly- successful training model designed for individuals who are considering starting or expanding a small business. The OJS program helps participants build essential business planning and preparation skills like product pricing, legal structure, competition, marketing and cash flow management with the goal of developing a feasibility plan to start or expand a business. In addition, Operation JumpStart graduates will learn about access to start-up capital in the form of competitive grants and microloans and will benefit from one-on-one business counseling with professional business development consultants from the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Operation JumpStart will start March 13 and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. in the training room at the East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) offices at 403 Parkway Drive in Park Hills.

Keri McCrorey, executive director of EMAA said, “Operation JumpStart is a valuable program that supports economic development in our community, and we look forward to partnering with the CIE again to support the entrepreneurial classes.”

OJS has been instrumental in assisting about 650 individuals who have started or expanded more than 250 small businesses in southeast Missouri and elsewhere.

“Past experience with Operation JumpStart has proven to kindle the entrepreneurial spirit found in our community and to refine the business ideas under consideration by our most innovative and creative residents,” said Norm Lucas, economic developer for Park Hills.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 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 center supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerate economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.

“The city council and staff eagerly anticipate the resumption of Operation Jump Start in Park Hills,” Lucas said, “and we look forward to successful business starts taking root in the city through the program.”

Additional Operation JumpStart programs will be offered in Perryville, Mo., in April and in Potosi, Mo., in May, and other locations throughout southeast Missouri. These classes are forming now, so call or go online to register early. The first three participants to register and attend in each location will receive a free technology device at graduation. Operation JumpStart training is open to the public. Those who can attend all sessions and are ready to “JumpStart” their business should contact the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship no later than March 8. An application is required and seating is limited, so please do not delay.

Visit www.semo.edu/cie/training to register. The OJS course in Park Hills, to be offered at no charge to the participants, is made possible in part through funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance by contacting the CIE at (573) 651-2929. For more information about the CIE and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/cie.