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Montgomery County Community College Launches New Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Friday, July 23, 2010   (0 Comments)
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Blue Bell, Pa.— July 23, 2010 --  If you ever dreamed of operating your own business but lacked the experience, skills or education to get started, Montgomery County Community College’s new Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES) is your solution. The CES has all the informational resources--workshops, counseling, seminars and mentoring--in one location at the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell.

 

The central feature of the CES is the business incubator. This supportive professional environment provides a strong foundation for a business, which often means the difference between success and failure.

 

The community is invited to attend the grand opening of the CES and business incubator on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. in the College’s Parkhouse Hall, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. To RSVP for the event, email dyerkey@mc3.edu.

 

The business incubator consists of 10 state-of-the-art offices available for leasing at a nominal monthly fee of approximately $250. The reasonable rent allows entrepreneurs to use their funds to grow their businesses, instead of spending the bulk of it on expenses.

 

In addition to the comfortable offices with locking doors, phone and Internet access, entrepreneurs will have the shared use of a conference room and office equipment, such as a copier, printer and scanner.  

 

The greatest advantage of the incubator, however, is the array of onsite support services, provided by the mentors of the CES Advisory Committee and the College’s faculty, as well as members of the non-profit business counseling agency, SCORE, and the Small Business Administration. 

 

"Each full-time tenant will be assigned a mentor,” said Dr. Amit B. Singh, Dean of the Business and Computer Science. "There are plenty of opportunities for small businesses in Montgomery County, and we are looking for a variety of businesses—technology, non-profit, pharmaceutical, etc.—for the incubator.”

 

While only 31 percent of start-up businesses survive after seven years, the percentage increases to 87 percent for those start-ups that go through an incubation process, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, an independent agency of the federal government that was established in 1953 to assist and protect the interests of small businesses.

 

Similarly, the National Business Incubation Association reports, "Business incubation is a business support process that accelerates the successful development of start-up and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services.”

 

To help educate and train new entrepreneurs, the College recently launched the Entrepreneurial Certificate Program starting the summer 2010 semester.

 

This certificate program consists of four three-credit courses especially designed to address all facets of starting and operating a viable business.  The courses—Entrepreneurial Essentials, Entrepreneurial Marketing, Entrepreneurial Accounting and Entrepreneurial Business Plan—will be offered each semester in accelerated seven-week terms.

           

Prospective students will meet with the program coordinator to discuss their skills and appropriate placement. Although the Entrepreneurial Certificate Program can be completed in one semester, it is recommended that students with little or no business background complete the certificate during two semesters.

             

In addition to the new certificate program, the College also offers an array of non-credit entrepreneurial courses in conjunction with the Workforce Development and Continuing Education division to address each stage of business growth.

 

These courses include Marketing Your Own Business, Business Development Strategies, Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship, Launch Your Small Business Using Online Technology Tools, QuickBooks, How to Open an Internet Store, Business Writing Essentials and Creating Your Own Website.

 

Additionally, the College offers a Woman-Owned Business Certificate Program and related courses specifically designed for women entrepreneurs to learn and develop the skills they need to succeed.

 

This combination of academic certification, business targeted courses, mentoring, workshops and business incubation is unique in Montgomery County, Dr. Singh said. 

 

The College’s mission for the Center is to provide valuable and practical educational opportunities for entrepreneurs. The CES will play an active role in the economic development for the greater community by creating job opportunities, leadership, innovation, inspiration and enrichment.

 

Montgomery County has the essential ingredients for the successful launch and subsequent growth of new businesses because of its relatively strong economy, skilled workforce, developed infrastructure, median cost of doing business, average living costs and a high concentration of quality higher learning institutions.

 

For more information, contact the CES Director via email at CES@MC3.edu  or phone at 215-461-1140 to discuss your business and to determine if you are an eligible candidate. To be considered for incubator occupancy, prospective tenants must provide a business plan, along with other documentation including financial information.


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