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Entrepreneurial SMARTS training offered in Prestonsburg

Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED)
will offer Prestonsburg area residents the opportunity to learn more about small business
ownership this spring through its Entrepreneurial SMARTS course.
The four-session, 12-hour SMARTS Prestonsburg course will be offered on the following
dates: March 20, March 27, April 3 and April 10, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Floyd County
Extension Office, 921 S. Lake Drive in Prestonsburg. Cost is only $25 per person. SKED would
like to thank the Floyd County Extension Office for its support and use of its facility.
A total of 126 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners completed Entrepreneurial
SMARTS training in nine sessions offered around the region in 2012. The coming year promises
to be as successful.
Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) is conducting this
entrepreneurial and small business training program - Entrepreneurial SMARTS: Simple
Methods And Reality-based Training for Success – which is based on a nationally recognized
training program called Core Four® Business Planning Course. The Appalachian Regional
Commission provided funding support for the first round of these training sessions.
Entrepreneurial SMARTS training has reached people from all walks of life. Participants
have included owners of existing small businesses, folks working to open their own small
business in the near future, entrepreneurs seeking some direction on the basics of starting and
managing a small business, retirees, college students, employees of nonprofit organizations
seeking education and training to more effectively assist their constituents, and people who are
unemployed and seeking an alternative to the traditional job market.
Training is currently under way in Morehead and will follow in the Corbin area in February.
The following additional locations have been designated as additional SMARTS training
sites in 2013: Somerset in mid-April and early May; Hindman in mid-May and early June;
Liberty in August and Pikeville in September. For more specifics and to register, visit SKED’s
website at www.southeastkentucky.com, then click on the training link.
Pat Bradley, SKED small business training specialist, conducts the Entrepreneurial
SMARTS classes. Bradley is among more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country who have been certified as Core Four® Business Planning Course instructors. In addition to
this and other entrepreneurial training, the East Kentucky native also draws from the first-hand knowledge
and experience she gained from starting and operating her own small businesses.
At Entrepreneurial SMARTS training sessions, entrepreneurs and small business owners are
instructed in how to create a business plan, including basic knowledge about starting, financing and
operating a business and planning for success.
Class participants are also given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them. If
these entrepreneurs go on to start their own business, this training will give them a tremendous advantage
by giving them access to the skill set needed to properly get their business off the ground and running
smoothly.
Existing small business owners will get the support they need to advance the growth of their business
and operate a solid, reliable investment. Upon successful completion of this training, participants receive
a certificate recognizing their achievements and will be eligible to apply for business startup or expansion
funding from SKED’s loan funds.
This nationally recognized course is valued at $250 per student. However, due to financial support
through a grant from the ARC combined with financial support from SKED, participants pay a mere $25
per person.
“After completing the first year of Entrepreneurial SMARTS, I’m even more convinced that
practically anyone can benefit from this training program,” said Bradley. Entrepreneurs, folks starting a
small business, students, owners of existing small businesses, employees, and small business service
providers have all completed this training with rave reviews. This is truly a great opportunity for anyone
interested in developing and improving their business management skills! I’m really looking forward to
going into year two of Entrepreneurial SMARTS, and continuing our work at SKED of supporting
economic development and helping folks in our region realize their dreams of successful business
ownership!”
SKED has been providing support for new business development and small business expansion
throughout Southeast Kentucky through its lending programs for years. This entrepreneurial and small
business training program, supplements SKED’s work to develop successful and sustainable small
business ownership in Southeast Kentucky.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some recent graduates have to say about the
program:
“I was surprised at the depth of material covered in such a short course. The material was very
clear and presented in an easy to understand manner. I learned a lot!” said Lesa Neace of Hazard. “This class is worth so much more than the $25 it cost to sign up… it’s worth gold. I have always
wanted to start my own business but didn’t know where to begin…SKED SMARTS arms you with every
resource imaginable to make you a huge success,” said Kim Molen of Somerset.
SKED Executive Director Greg Jones says the entrepreneurial training program is a natural
progression for SKED and its mission of job creation and building a better economic future for the
residents of Southeast Kentucky.
“We are pleased to partner with the ARC to bring this much needed and successful training to our
service area. I look forward to meeting and congratulating even more graduates in 2013,” Jones said.
SKED was formed 26 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in
Southeast Kentucky. The economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 45-county
region in Southeast Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service
area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs.
For more information about SKED’s services, contact Jones at (606) 677-6102 or
gjones@centertech.com. For information about entrepreneurship training, contact Bradley by phone at
(606) 335-1488 or by email at pat.sked@yahoo.com. You may visit: www.southeastkentucky.com for
more information about SKED’s services and about Entrepreneurial SMARTS.


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