by Adele Williams, Student Contributor
The Director of Kentucky Innovation, Dr. David Snow, spoke during the Workshop, giving the audience advice on how to start and maintain a successful business. After a brief presentation on how to create a successful business plan, Dr. Snow helped the audience draft business plans of their own, even helping some individuals to improve business plans that had already been set into action. The workshop stressed the importance of having a strong business plan. The Director of Entrepreneurial Program at Alice Lloyd College, Mrs. Rachel Childers explains, saying, “Creating a business plan forces an entrepreneur to research their business idea, and find substantial evidence that their business model can be successful. A well written plan can also help a startup company gain funding through external sources.”
Community members were thankful for the opportunity to attend the workshop. Rita Owsley, of Mousie, Kentucky, says, “Not only did the workshop provide us with valuable information, but it allowed for us to network. We met fellow entrepreneurs who shared the same struggles as us. Being a small business owner in Eastern Kentucky is not an easy task. Dr. Snow was excellent and agreed to assist us through the steps necessary to become a successful small business owner. We can’t wait to attend future workshops hosted by the Entrepreneurial Development Program at Alice Lloyd College.”
Mrs. Childers is excited about the program being able to provide workshops that will benefit the surrounding community as well as the students at ALC. “The Entrepreneurial Development Program seeks to spur economic growth by providing entrepreneurs the educational tools they need to get started. Opening the workshops to students, faculty and staff, and the community also allows for participants to hear different viewpoints and learn from one another. The workshop was well attended and has received positive feedback from both the students and community members.”
The program works to provide workshops, consultation periods, and convocations that are designed to help the entrepreneur develop strong business plans, encourage partnerships with local and regional business, and become more competitive in order to see their business strive. In addition to helping aspiring entrepreneurs see their dreams realized, the Program strives to help positively impact Eastern Kentucky’s distressed economy in the years to come. Mrs. Childers adds, “Due to the unfortunate decrease in coal mining jobs, entrepreneurship in Eastern Kentucky is more important than ever. As citizens of Eastern Kentucky we must find opportunities to create jobs for ourselves and our neighbors.”
The Program has already made arrangements to have guest speakers Jack and Elmer Whitaker of Whitaker Bank visit ALC’s campus in the fall of 2015. Mrs. Childers also plans to host a marketing workshop in the near future. You can find more information about upcoming events hosted by the Program by following ALC Entrepreneurial Development Program on Facebook.