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Entrepreneurship Programs and Resources

Entrepreneurship Programs & ResourcesEntrepreneurs are a special breed of people.  They are extremely energetic, optimistic, driven to succeed, and have a "fire in the belly" to bring their idea to commercial success.  And often, they are not ones to listen, to plan carefully, to explain fully to others.  Entrepreneurs are widely thought to be risk takers.  In fact, most successful entrepreneurs are not risk takers, but risk minimizers.  Starting a new business venture means walking into a world of unknowns, and the shrewd entrepreneur will seek out answers to as many of those unknows as possible - because they can be the difference between life and death of the enterprise.

One of the first things to do in starting a business is to know yourself.  You may be strong in all the areas that any entrepreneur would need to be strong, but that is highly unlikely.  You need to know areas where you are not so strong so that you can get help in those areas, by hiring the right kind of talent, taking on a partner, or recruiting mentors.  Here is a simple self-assessment tool that can help you know yourself better. Self-Biz Quiz

Fortunately there are many sources of assistance to help scope out and set up a new business venture.  One of the best is the Startup Guide written by the Athens-Clarke County Human & Economic Development Department, which you can download here: "Start me up Guide."  This guide is a source of many elements that should be checked out as you develop your business plan and business model.  Nevertheless, it is only a guide and offers first steps toward getting important things done; it is no substitute for the advice of a qualified business consultant.

Qualified business consultants affiliated with the Georgia Small  Business Development Center and the US Small Business Administration are active in every county of Georgia.  They provide assistance in many areas of starting and growing your business.  Many businesses and entrepreneurs approach them asking about financial assistance.  With this kind of assistance, and most other assistance, the strongest foundation you can have is a well-thought out, solid business plan.  Learn more about these resources by exploring the links below:

SBDC
The Georgia SBDC offers no-cost, confidential consulting services to Georgia’s small businesses.The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a statewide provider of management consulting and training for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. As part of a nationwide network of SBDC programs, the SBDC in Georgia has offices in 17 locations across the state. With graduate business educations and backgrounds in many different fields their consultants help owners analyze all aspects of their business to identify areas for management improvement and business growth. Successful candidates must enjoy not only working with a wide variety of business types and issues, but derive satisfaction from helping others increase their opportunities for success. As a part of the University of Georgia's public service and outreach program, and in collaboration with other units of the University System of Georgia, the SBDC offers qualified individuals the opportunity to engage in fulfilling business and economic development efforts while helping grow the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. The Georgia SBDC is viewed as one of the best programs of its type in the country and is accredited by the national Association of SBDCs and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

 

SBA.GOV site - U.S Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

 

BusinessUSA
BusinessUSA  is a partnership among the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and a number of other federal agencies who have business assistance programs.  It offers businesses information, tools, and assistance resources that will contribute to their development.  There are tools to start a business, access financing, conduct foreign market research and develop an export plan, to name a few.  Businesses can quickly connect to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency's website, call center, or office they go to for help. To strengthen America's competitiveness in the global economy, businesses will need to be equipped with the best tools and information available to support innovation and job growth in the 21st century. BusinessUSA is your front door to all the government has to offer.

 

A Brief Guide to Business Plans

The Georgia Deparment of Economic Development maintains a Small Business Directory that will provide resources on almost any topic related to starting, running, and expanding your business.