January 07, 2008

Entrepreneurs will benefit from upcoming seminars

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is sponsoring a trio of workshops for those interested in starting or expanding a business in Illinois.

"There is no better time than the beginning of a new year to consider such a significant life change as starting your own business," said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade at SIUC. "In just a few hours time, we can help equip prospective entrepreneurs with the information necessary to clearly evaluate their options. As with all major decisions, the more planning you do up front, the better the odds are for long-term success."

The spring 2008 workshop schedule includes a series of two-hour informational seminars giving the basic information and requirements of starting a business including: legal structure, start-up requirements, acquiring financing and the basics of planning a business. There's a $10 materials fee that covers the cost of a business start-up kit featuring the recently updated "Business Plan Workbook," a business start-up checklist and copies of the slides from the presentation.

Also, for the first time in 2008, one session of the "Starting a Business in Illinois" ("Comenzando un Negocio en Illinois") workshop will be in Spanish.

Workshops are set for:

• Jan. 16: 6-8 p.m.

• Feb. 15: 9-11 a.m.

• March 20: 1-3 p.m.

• April 2 (Abril 2) in Spanish: 6-8 p.m., Salón 150.

• April 22: 6-8 p.m.

• May 16: 9-11 a.m.

• June 12: 1-3 p.m.

All workshops are in Room 150 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register call 618/536-2424 or e-mail ilsbdc@siu.edu. Participants can register online at www.southernillinois.biz.

Two other workshops provide further help for new Southern Illinois business owners. "Finding Financing: Selling Your Ideas to Banks and Investors" comes to Room 150 of Dunn-Richmond March 20 and June 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. each day. Each session is free and explains the different types of business financing and what is involved in securing financial backing. Business owners or prospective owners will get information geared to the region and their specific industries. Both sessions follow "Starting a Business in Illinois" workshops, allowing participants to participate in both at once. The Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center, also located at Dunn-Richmond, is co-sponsor for the financing workshops.

A free workshop entitled "How to Sell to the Government" is the third tier in the spring 2008 workshop series. Set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 15 in Room 150 at the Dunn-Richmond center, the workshop is for those with businesses that have products or services the government might buy. They'll learn how to market and sell to the government, the requirements of government contracting, and how to acquire and successfully complete federal, state and local government contracts. The John A. Logan College Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center is co-sponsor for this workshop.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops. For additional information or registration, call 618/536-2424 or e-mail ilbdc@siu.edu. Participants can complete online registration at www.southernillinois.biz.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the United States Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by SIUC, provides a variety of business services to existing and prospective businesses.