Small Business Development Training Coming to Piedmont

by News Bureau on Monday, Jan. 09, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 6, 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 free training opportunity that will be offered soon in Piedmont, courtesy of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 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 Operation JumpStart program teaches participants 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. Operation JumpStart graduates will also have access to start-up capital in the form of competitive grants and microloans. In addition, course participants will receive one-on-one business counseling with a professional business development consultant from the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).

Operation JumpStart will be offered in Piedmont starting March 13 and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Operation JumpStart consistently produces businesses that are still in operation at an astounding rate of 92 percent after two years. The entrepreneurial program has been instrumental in assisting more than 650 individuals who have started or expanded more than 250 small businesses in southeast Missouri and elsewhere.

“I had a vision, and that was to start my own business, be my own boss and hopefully create a couple of job opportunities for this area,” said Pam McNail, a successful 2008 Operation JumpStart graduate and owner of SpaZA’ Day Spa in Ellington, Mo. “The amount of business information that was given during the six-week course was invaluable to me in starting my business.”

The OJS course to be offered at no charge to entrepreneurs from Piedmont and surrounding communities, is made possible with funding from the CIE and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), a federally-designated organization which strives to improve the lives of individuals in the 252 counties and parishes in the Delta states of Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Mississippi and Louisiana. Additional supporters of the OJS program are the local chambers of commerce in Reynolds, Wayne and Carter Counties.

If you can attend all sessions and are ready to JumpStart your business, please contact the CIE no later than March 8 for class location details and an application. An application is required and seating is limited, so please do not delay. Visit www.semo.edu/cie/training or contact the CIE at cie@semo.edu. In addition, for more information about Operation JumpStart, please attend the Ellington Chamber of Commerce meeting at noon on Thursday, Jan. 26. Staff from the CIE will have applications available and will discuss the program.

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 CIE 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.

For more information about the CIE and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/cie.