Small Business Entrepreneurship Center at JCTC to prepare new business owners

Without nurturing and encouragement and without grounding in the language and skills of business, potential entrepreneurs can easily watch their dreams fade.

A new program at Jefferson Community & Technical College, however, plans to fan the flames of entrepreneurship with a program, taught by experienced business owners, designed to give students the skills and support they need to find success.

People often turn to the college when changing careers or when advancing a career. As a result, it is common for us to have many students wanting to be business owners, said Tony Newberry, Ph.D., Jefferson s president and CEO. The entrepreneurship center was the logical step in helping students and others in the community move to the next level.

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Center has been in the works for more than a year, when Newberry and Professor Helen Davis, the college s academic program coordinator for business studies, assembled an advisory board of local business men and women. What emerged was an entrepreneurship program designed to fill the gap between the kind of non-profit business training available through organizations such as the Small Business Administration, and a more traditional Master s Degree in Business Administration.

The Center s full-time accelerated program is offered on a selective admission basis to individuals from all fields, and covers 16 college credit hours in 4 months, leading to a Certificate in Small Business Management.

Classes are taught either by an experienced and successful entrepreneur or someone coming from the Small Business Administration or Small Business Development Center with years of experience helping people start small businesses.

We wanted a program that wasn t just academic, said Griffin Cottle, Center director. Each of our classes is taught by someone who has been there before and been successful at it, so all of our participants are able to draw on a wealth of experience that can t be found in a textbook.

Capping off the program is an 18-month mentorship program in which emerging entrepreneurs are partnered with a successful small business owner or executive to help them craft and execute their business plan. The mentorship component is a result of the efforts of Tony Fink, the CEO of New Age Technologies and a member of the Center s advisory board.

To learn more about the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Center at JCTC, please call 502-213-2686 or email Griffin.Cottle@KCTCS.edu or visit The Small Business amp; Entrepreneurship Center web page