March 27, 2008

Workshop set for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — For the first time, Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs in Southern Illinois can participate in a business start-up workshop designed just for them by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Starting a Business in Illinois (Comenzando un Negocio en Illinois) is set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 2 (Miércoles, Abril 2), in Room 150 (Salón 150) at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. To pre-register or for more information, call 618/536-2424. You can also sign up online at or by emailing

This free seminar includes, in Spanish, a business plan workbook, a handout of the presentation slides and the booklet "Starting a Business in Illinois." The seminar highlights the basics of starting a business including legal structuring, startup requirements, finding financing and basics to consider when planning a new business.

"A growing number of Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs are making inquiries so to further assist them, we've developed a business plan workbook and a version of our 'Starting a Business in Illinois' workshop just for them," said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade at SIUC. "We're also offering the free assistance of a counselor from Mexico who is bilingually fluent in Spanish and English. Providing these services in Southern Illinois takes us one step closer to connecting with the diverse peoples in the area surrounding the University."

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIUC serves current and prospective businesses by assisting with business planning and marketing, management issues and business financing instruction and counseling. The University hosts the center with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Small Business Administration providing funding.