The Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Project (http://www.goodwillswfl.org/
Graduates Betty Armas, Elizabeth Brew, Amy Charles, Roweana Elizee, Bonnie Henson, Cheryl Holland, Claribel Levinson and Dawn Ziegler each received certificates symbolizing their completion of the 6-week course which is guided by small business mentors. This was also the projects first all-female group of graduates.
Sherri Lange, Ph.D. of Alliance Financial Group delivered the inspiring commencement address stating “Inner strength and passion will carry you through.” She continued, “Keep your eyes focused so you see all your possibilities.”
Several of the graduates had an opportunity to address the crowd, such as Cheryl Holland who said that, thanks to the program, “I now have a polished feasibility plan, good tools, and am ready to start my business.”
In the two years since the MicroEnterprise program has started, the program has graduated 79 aspiring entrepreneurs, 24 of whom have started their business ventures.
The Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Project is a partnership of several organizations and provides training for individuals with low-to-moderate income and/or other disadvantages to start their own businesses. The program is administrated by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida (http://www.goodwillswfl.org). Additional support is provided by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, and the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, Edison State College, Fifth Third Bank, Florida Community Bank, and Lee County Department of Human Services.
The program is part of Goodwill’s mission to help people with disabilities and other disadvantages overcome their barriers to employment and independence.
To learn more about the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project, please visit http://www.goodwillswfl.org/
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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.