Last updated: July 30. 2013 4:56PM - 856 Views

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PIKEVILLE – East Kentucky residents interested in starting their own business or making their current business more successful should put the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurial SMARTS course on their calendars in September.


The popular training course is being offered in Pikeville, for the second time in as many years, and is designed to give participants the opportunity to learn more about small business ownership and finding their entrepreneurial niche. Hundreds of residents around the region have already completed the training and have gained valuable knowledge and resources about small business startup and operations.


The four-session, 12-hour SMARTS Pikeville course will be offered Sept. 5, Sept. 12, Sept. 19 and Sept. 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening, at the Pike County Cooperative Extension Office, located at 148 Trivette Drive in Pikeville. Cost is only $25 per person for all four sessions and includes a training manual and numerous handouts.


A total of 228 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners have already completed Entrepreneurial SMARTS training in 16 sessions offered around the region in since the program began in early 2012.


SKED conducts the entrepreneurial and small business training program - Entrepreneurial SMARTS: Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success – which is based on a nationally recognized training program called Core Four® Business Planning Course. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has provided funding support for these training sessions.


Entrepreneurial SMARTS training has reached people from all walks of life. Participants have included owners of existing small businesses, folks working to open their own small business in the near future, entrepreneurs seeking some direction on the basics of starting and managing a small business, retirees, college students, employees of nonprofit organizations seeking education and training to more effectively assist their constituents, and people who are unemployed and seeking an alternative to the traditional job market.


The final SMARTS class in 2013 will be offered in Somerset Ky. in October. For more specifics and to register, visit SKED’s website at www.southeastkentucky.com, then click on the training link.


Pat Bradley, SKED small business training specialist, conducts the Entrepreneurial SMARTS classes. Bradley is among more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country who have been certified as Core Four® Business Planning Course instructors. In addition to this and other entrepreneurial training, the East Kentucky native also draws from the first-hand knowledge and experience she gained from starting and operating her own small businesses.


At Entrepreneurial SMARTS training sessions, entrepreneurs and small business owners are instructed in how to create a business plan, including basic knowledge about starting, financing and operating a business and planning for success.


Class participants are also given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them. If these entrepreneurs go on to start their own business, this training will give them a tremendous advantage by giving them access to the skill sets needed to properly get their business off the ground and running smoothly.


Existing small business owners will get the support they need to advance the growth of their business and operate a solid, reliable investment. Upon successful completion of this training, participants receive a certificate recognizing their achievements and will be eligible to apply for business startup or expansion


funding from SKED’s loan funds.


This nationally recognized course is valued at $250 per student. However, due to financial support through a grant from the ARC, combined with financial support from SKED, participants pay a mere $25 per person.


But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some recent graduates have to say about the program: “I was surprised at the depth of material covered in such a short course. The material was very clear and presented in an easy to understand manner. I learned a lot!” said Lesa Neace of Hazard. “This class is worth so much more than the $25 it cost to sign up… it’s worth gold. I have always wanted to start my own business but didn’t know where to begin….. SKED SMARTS arms you with every resource imaginable to make you a huge success,” said Kim Molen of Somerset.


SKED has been providing support for new business development and small business expansion throughout Southeast Kentucky through its lending programs for years. This entrepreneurial and small business training program supplements SKED’s work to develop successful and sustainable small business ownership in Southeast Kentucky.


Formed 27 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in Southeast Kentucky, the economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 45-county region in Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs.


For information about entrepreneurship training, contact Bradley by phone at (606) 335-1488 or by email at pat.sked@yahoo.com. To register, visit SKED’s website at www.southeastkentucky.com, then click on the training link.


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