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Nine-Week Program Introduces Individuals to Starting a Small Business
8/2/2002

FORT MYERS, FL - Individuals thinking about starting a small business are encouraged to attend the nine-week “Fast Trac New Venture” program offered by the Florida Gulf Coast University Small Business Development Center and the University of Florida Extension Service, beginning Thursday, Sept. 19 at Busey Bank in Fort Myers, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

In Fast Trac New Venture, participants write a feasibility plan on their project’s strengths and weaknesses, examining the idea from every angle. They work closely with other aspiring entrepreneurs to share ideas and strategies, and lay the groundwork for future business relationships.

The program explores the potential of the business idea before participants decide to quit their job or invest their life savings. Participants learn if the life of an entrepreneur is right for them and the program design helps evaluate and perfect the business concept.

Specifically through FastTrac New Venture, participants learn how to develop:
     Knowledge of the feasibility planning process

     A feasibility plan that follows an assessment template designed to refine your ideas and assess your venture's viability

     Research skills you can apply to the workplace or any future business venture

     An understanding of the most common business entry strategies, including their pluses and minuses

     A network of entrepreneurial peers

     Valuable mentor relationships

     A sense of yourself as an entrepreneur

     A library of business reference materials, including an interactive CD-ROM that helps you write and build a feasibility plan

Seasoned entrepreneurs and SBDC staff instruct FastTrac New Venture. The participant’s business serves as a case study in the hands-on program.

The deadline for applying is Thursday, Sept. 5

The cost is $350 for two people from the same business to attend. Scholarships that pay for 50 percent of the cost are available.

For more information, contact Beth Hagan at (941) 947-8085.

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