Several local agencies hope to increase the number of successful small businesses in our area through the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project, which will begin a new session on Sept.20, 2011. Applications are available online at http://www.goodwillswfl.org/
The Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project (http://www.swflmicro.com) provides training for people with low-to-moderate income or other disadvantages to start their own businesses. Program participants will complete a six-week training course, made up of bi-weekly classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Mentors will work directly with participants to help these potential small business owners prepare a business plan. Since the launch of the program one year ago, 52 entrepreneurs have graduated from the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project.
At the end of the six-week program, graduates will have the opportunity to apply for small startup grants and microloans to help launch their new business ventures. Program managers hope that by providing small business training and avenues for funding, the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project will spark economic growth in our community.
The SWFL MicroEnterprise Project is administered by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. and is funded through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. Other program partners include the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, SCORE, and ACCION USA.
Persons interested in applying to the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project, or who would like to mentor future small business owners may call (239) 995-2106 ext. 219. More information is available online at http://www.swflmicro.com.
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Goodwill operates 25 thrift stores in Southwest Florida to support its mission of removing barriers to independence. Programs include income-sensitive housing, career placement assistance, the L.I.F.E. Academy Charter School, Four Wheels for Work, and others.