Saturday, January 10, 2009

Class could lead to free retail space for a new business

Interested in learning how to launch your own business?

On top of that, would you like a chance at having rent-free retail space for a year?

Alamance Community College is offering a class designed to help people create a strong business plan and learn what they need to know to make it happen.

The college will offer the class beginning Jan. 26 through its Small Business Center. The class will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. each Monday for 10 weeks.

The Small Business Center is working with Burlington Outlet Village to offer free retail space for a business. The winner must fit into one of the types of businesses that are compatible with the outlet center to be eligible for free space.

Students who complete the course and want to compete for the free space will write a business plan that will be judged by a team of professionals in different areas.

Besides the space, the winner will receive free or discounted services from business professionals.

Brice Watkins will teach the class. Milele Archibald, director of the Small Business Center, said he has previously taught the course and also has entrepreneurship experience in relation to the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in the Mebane area.

The business planning class is offered statewide by an organization called North Carolina REAL Enterprises. The acronym stands for Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning.

The organization has a Web site at

Pre-registration for the class is required.

The course will cover topics including:

- Can my business idea support me?

- Researching the market.

- Pricing products and services.

- Developing a marketing strategy.

- Basic bookkeeping and taxes.

- Understanding financial statements.

- Legal considerations: licenses, insurance, status.

I wonder if Indian B-schools will ever have programs like this one.


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