participants to become self-sufficient. The
program provides an opportunity for individuals to receive the professional
training, guidance and technical assistance to be successful in their
The Entrepreneur Training Program has graduated
more than 300 participants since its inception in 1994. More than 75 of
the graduates have started or expanded their own businesses.
The program addresses three specific areas:
- Empowerment training to encourage welfare
recipients to improve their living situation;
- Entrepreneurial education to help improve
long-term prospects for new small businesses; and
- Opportunities for disadvantaged individuals
to become self-sufficient.
Training includes topics such as writing a
business plan and the technical aspects of developing a small business.
Free six-hour classes are offered daily. At each workshop, community business
leaders, educators and providers of economic development services affiliated
with the program volunteer to talk on such subjects as networking, advertising,
marketing and record-keeping. Successful entrepreneurs provide start-up
tips and give motivational presentations on empowerment, business etiquette
and dressing for success. One-on-one counseling is available from the program
coordinator, and additional counseling is available free of charge from
Small Business Development, the Souris Basin Planning Council and the Service
Corps of Retired Executives.
The program enhances the ability of participants
to see themselves as entrepreneurs. The support of the program director
encourages low-income individuals to investigate new and possibly more effective
avenues toward self-sufficiency. To help address the comprehensive needs
of participants, the program also addresses obstacles such as child care,
transportation, credit history, budgeting, housing needs, additional education
and job training. In addition, the structure of the program was created
deliberately to be compatible with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
The program has created a support system that
features a small-loan pool for start-up businesses, a mentoring program
and job placement services for those program participants that are not ready
to start a business.
Contact: Connie Philipenko, Phone: (701) 852-0485
Tracking Number: 760
Winning Category: Geographic