December 19, 2012
Business development workshops begin in January
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center is offering a series of workshops, most entirely free, for anyone interested in starting a new business or considering enhancing or expanding an existing enterprise.
Several sessions of “Starting a Business in Illinois” are on the schedule in the first half of 2013. The workshop covers various important aspects of beginning a business including legal structure, finding financing, start-up requirements and business planning basics. Each two-hour session is free, but participants must pre-register. An optional business start-up kit is available for $15 at each workshop.
The schedule for “Starting a Business in Illinois” workshops for spring and summer includes:
- Jan. 8, 5-7 p.m., Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale.
- Jan. 24, 9-11 a.m., Man-Tra-Con office, 3000 W. DeYoung St., Illinois Star Centre Mall, Marion. Man-Tra-Con is a co-sponsor.
- Feb. 13, 1-3 p.m., Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale.
- March 6, 9-11 a.m., Randolph County Courthouse, 1 Taylor St., Chester. Randolph County Economic Development is co-sponsor.
- March 22, 9-11 a.m., Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale.
- April 8, 5-7 p.m., Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale.
- May 15, 9-11 a.m., Carterville Community Room, 120 N. Greenbriar Road, Community Center, Carterville. The Carterville Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsor.
- June 12, 1-3 p.m., Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale.
- July 17, 5-7 p.m., Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale.
“If you have the bug to start a business, or if you want to formalize a hobby business, or if you have always dreamed of owning your own company, join us for a ‘Starting a Business in Illinois’ workshop. We pack a lot of information into a two-hour session enabling you to see if you are ready to take the next step. If not, there’s no pressure. If so, we are here to help,” said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade.
There will also be four additional workshops for new and expanding businesses.
“Venture into New International Markets” is Jan. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Centralia Tech Center at 1000 N. Locust St. in Centralia. This workshop will be of interest for entrepreneurs wanting to begin exporting as well as for seasoned exporters, international shipping personnel and export compliance officers. Terry LaRocca of the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment will speak. The session will include lunch but those attending must register by Jan. 18. The Illinois Office of Trade and Investment and the International Trade Centers of SIU Carbondale, SIUE and Kaskaskia College are co-sponsors.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Trade and Investment won STEP grants in each of the first two years of the pilot program. The state’s STEP funding provides assistance to small to medium size Illinois enterprises to increase the dollar value of the state’s export sales. The second year of the Illinois STEP program runs through Sept. 2013 and continues to focus on providing those types of businesses with financial and technical assistance, including the opportunity to participate in group trade missions or individual foreign market sales missions. In addition, the program also offers assistance to help small/medium Illinois enterprises achieve produce compliance certifications.
“International Banking 101” will be April 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150. This workshop, featuring Gabe DiGiorgio, vice president of US Bank -- Global Trade Services, highlights various banking products available to exporters. It also focuses on the four payment methods common in international trade and international treasury management. The workshop features a free networking lunch but participants must register by April 5.
A two-part “Using Social Media to Market Your Business” workshop is also on tap. Part One is April 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Room 150. This workshop covers the various types of social networking platforms available and the benefits of incorporating social networking into a business marketing plan.
Part Two will be April 30, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Dunn-Richmond Computer Lab. This hands-on presentation walks participants through setting up a business Facebook page. Organizers encourage those who participate in this session to also attend Part One or to at least already have a Facebook profile set up. There is a $15 per person fee to attend the Part Two workshop, and participants must register by April 26.
The workshops are all open to the public. But you must pre-register. For more information, or to sign up for any of the workshops, call 618/536-2424, email email@example.com, or visit the website at www.siusbdc.com.
There’s a special bonus available, too. Seminar participants and center clients can purchase Business Plan Pro software, the top-ranked tool for building an effective business plan, at a special price of $69.95. LivePlan, an easy, online, interactive business-planning program is also available at a special discount price of $60 for a six-month subscription.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
To learn more about the University’s entrepreneurship and business development programs and the services they offer, contact the Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center at 618/536-2424, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or look online at www.siusbdc.com.