August 11, 2006

Free classes available to aspiring entrepreneurs

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in starting a business can learn how by sitting in on free classes available through the Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"How to Start Your Own Business," "Business Plan Writing" and "Finding Financing" are free seminars for people who want to take the first steps in opening a business. The classes provide workshop-based instruction and individual one-on-one counseling.

"The free seminars are open to pre-venture clients: those hoping to start a business, turn a business concept into reality or to make hobby ‘legal',' said Robyn Laur Russell, director of the Small Business Development Center.

Russell said the workshops also highlight the ISBDC's new slogan, "Creating, Developing and Growing Southern Illinois: One Business at a Time!"

"Each person we touch has the ability to create economic impact in Southern Illinois through business startups and job creation. We give them the technical assistance to be able to make it happen," she said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provide funding for the center, which SIUC hosts as a service to small businesses.

All classes take place at SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road.

The full schedule follows:

How to Start Your Own Business: The basic requirements of starting your own business including: legal structure, startup requirements, business planning basics and finding financing.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 23, 9 -11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 7, 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21, 9 -11 a.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 6, 9-11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 6-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 9 -11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 9-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 9 -11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 9, 6-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 9-11 a.m.

Business Plan Writing: How to turn your ideas into a viable business. Please bring a disk or a flash drive to save your work.

  • Friday, Sept. 15, 9-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18, 9 -11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 1-3 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 12, 9-11 a.m.

Finding Financing: How to sell your ideas to banks and investors.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

All "Finding Financing" sessions immediately follow "How to Start Your Own Business" workshops.

The classes are free, but those interested must register first. To register, call 618/536-2424 or visit

Promoting economic and regional development is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.