By Mark Kelly
Lynchburg, VA – Small business is the backbone of our economy, but launching a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes guts and a lot of learning.
CVCC hosted a class for small business owners Thursday called the Entrepreneur Express. It’s the first class the college has hosted for owners of small business, and leaders say it was a wild success.
The Entrepreneur Express class puts owners like Jennifer Prince in one room to learn more about running a small business.
“Ad sales person, distribution person, editor. I do it all because I’m a small business,” said Prince.
Prince launched HillCityBride two years ago. Her latest product, Clutch, is a women’s magazine.
“I feel like a lot of people do sit at home with great ideas that never get started because they’re just afraid to take that first step,” said Prince.
CVCC’s class and business expo help ease that fear. It puts the many resources from licensing to marketing a small business into one room.
“It’s been a very nice mix and a very active crowd,” said Wayne Waldrop, director of the state agency Business Information Services.
Wayne Waldrop helped organize the event. Educating small business is his life’s work.
“As we look to grow the economy and grow jobs, they’re going to be a big part of it,” he said.
Waldrop says 75% of net new jobs in Virginia will come from small business. Small business owners crave the training schools like CVCC and Dr. Ruth Hendrick offer.
“Our purpose here is to try and determine the needs of smaller businesses, so we can respond to them as well,” said Dr. Hendrick.
Rachel Soward’s soaking in the information at the Entrepreneur Express. Her retail business is an idea now. Soon, it will be a reality.
“I certainly feel like if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. You have to at least try,” said Soward.
The Entrepreneur Express travels all over Virginia. It started four years ago. But, this is its first stop at CVCC. The college is eager to have the small business workshop again.