Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Project Celebrates Nine Graduates

Nine future small business owners are ready to take their first step in self-employment, after graduating from the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project.
The June 2011 MicroEnterprise graduating class
The June 2011 MicroEnterprise graduating class
July 6, 2011 - PRLog -- While area residents continue to struggle with a double-digit unemployment rate, nine Southwest Floridians are set to become their own bosses.  These nine entrepreneurs graduated from the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project on Thursday, June 30.  

The Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project ( prepares prospective small business owners through a ten-week program guided by small business mentors.

Graduates Sandra Breeden, Charles Craig, Leza Danca-Galli, Christpher DeSantis, Rebecca Dussmann, Robert Dussmann, Jessica Portalatin, Marta Matias-Sicajan, and Hugo Striedinger received certificates symbolizing their completion of First Step FastTrac classes through the Kauffman Foundation.  FastTrac is a training program to help emerging entrepreneurs, including those displaced from previous jobs during the recession, start new ventures and grow small businesses.

The April graduating class was the fifth group of entrepreneurs to complete the program since its inception in May of 2010.

Douglas Gribin of Alliance Financial Group delivered the commencement address. Gribin has parlayed nearly four decades in the financial and insurance industry into his own firm, which employs more than 60 associates.

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.  Partners include Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida (, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, SCORE, and the Fort Myers Enterprise Center.

To learn more about the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project, please visit or call Elliott Rittenhouse, Director of MicroEnterprise at Goodwill: (239) 995-2106 ext. 215

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About Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, inc.:
Goodwill operates 25 thrift stores in SW 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.
Source:SWFL MicroEnterprise project
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Tags:Microenterprise, Small Business, Florida, Fort Myers, Enterprise, Goodwill, Foundation, Education
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Location:Fort Myers - Florida - United States
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