The Goodwill Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Institute is a training program to help emerging entrepreneurs start new ventures and grow small businesses. Graduates complete a 12-module business and management training course over six weeks, and work with mentors who are successful businesspersons. Mentors for the recent session were Keith Tracy, Lynne Kittredge, and Feneshia Postlehwait. The class facilitator was Dorothy Browning.
Graduates Brenda Barbosa, Diana Billeci, Louis Carmelo, Laurel Infante, Mosi Jones, James Ledyard, Michael Midkiff, Donna Ryan, Jolisa Stewart, and Glenn White were all present to receive their certificates symbolizing their completion of the small business training course. Richard Billeci, Beverly Grinis, Marion Wilce, and Marcel Hall also completed the course.
“When I first started this class- I was scared,” says Barbosa. “Guidance from teachers and my fellow students helped me get the knowledge to pursue my dreams. Fear will not hold me back.”
Delivering the commencement speech was Diane Caputo, owner of Monty’s Restaurant and Pizzeria. Along with her father and then-husband, Caputo ran Monty’s from 1983-1991. After several changes in ownership, Caputo returned to the business in 2007 and took sales growth into the double digits. Caputo has been awarded the 2009 Charlotte Sun Readers’ Choice Business, and the 2009 Blue Chip Award. She was also named the Port Charlotte SCORE business person of the year for 2011.
“I had enough of making money for other people,” says Caputo. “Vision and stamina are the two most important things that guided me. Visualize what you want.”
The Goodwill Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Institute is administrated by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and is part of Goodwill’s commitment to serving people with disabilities and disadvantages by providing life-changing opportunities to independence. To learn more about the SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute, please visit www.goodwillswfl.org/
For more information about Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, visit www.goodwillswfl.org.