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Member News: C.C. Eship / NACCE Journal Spring/Summer 2010

A Menu Of Community Outreach

Thursday, April 22, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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By Beth Pridday

Director, Business & Entrepreneurial Services

MN State Community and Technical College, Detroit Lakes, MN

Over the pastseveral months the demand and interest in bringing a variety of topic-specific outreach workshops related to entrepreneurship and business ownership to our community of Detroit Lakes and the surrounding region has been exploding. The small business owner and the wanna-be-business owner (aka entrepreneur) want to gain the information needed to jump start their businesses, learn ways to enhance their critical skills and relationships needed both inside and outside their businesses, and focus on developing real-life skills needed to execute and achieve results.

Our BES (Business & Entrepreneurial Services) located on the campus of MN State Community and Technical College in the heart of the region in Detroit Lakes, MN (pop. 8,100) is being seen as the entrepreneurial source for communities such as Menahga (pop. 1,100), Sebeka (pop. 650), Park Rapids (pop. 3,600), Wadena (pop. 3,900), Frazee (pop. 1,300) and more, all located within a 60-mile radius.

Appetizers

To fill this role, we have developed a menu of offerings, beginning with one- and two-hour workshops. Featuring unique and diverse topics such asPolish Your Pitch, How to Treat Your Customers, Small Business Legal 101, A Low Tech Look at High Tech Solutions, What’s Your 80/20?andHow to Save Your Business $1,500 in 2 Hours, these programs will become our core of workshops that can be replicated and repeated as often as needed and requested.

Main Course

Along with the mini-workshop format, we have developed more immersed workshop opportunities on topics that demand more class time and a deeper level of commitment by the participants, including a six-week course,The Basics of Using QuickBooks, and the 10-week course calledIntro to Entrepreneurship.

These workshops and courses are being taught by professionals in their trained professions, certified life and business coaches, trainers and educators and are reaching the entry level entrepreneur as well as the more mature business professional looking for personal development or to have their skills sharpened.

Dessert

The residuals of these workshops are powerful. As we continue to have more contact hours with entrepreneurs and business owners, we have seen an increase in our request for SCORE mentorship and general assistance requests coming into the BES and its director. Also, attendance at our special Speaker Series events has increased and interest in our incubator office spaces has peaked.

Place Your Order

We see ourselves continuing to use this not only as a‘feeder’for our existing services, but as a revenue-generating opportunity for the BES to augment the grant dollars and pave a road for sustainability in the future for us. This community outreach of workshops and courses also allows us get a foothold in the region as a viable and credible resource and trainer for ‘hungry’ entrepreneurs and business owners. And, we are more than happy to serve it up.


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