In 2016 ACEnet began to explore the opportunity to customize our existing microenterprise curriculum and technical assistance services to serve citizens in re-entry.
In 2017 we received funding through a Small Business Administration PRIME award that allowed ACEnet to provide sector-based training and entrepreneurship assistance to citizens in re-entry. Our primary partner has been the Athens County Re-entry Task Force.
During the past 12 month research phase we have worked closely with Athens County Job and Family Services, the OhioMeansJobs Athens County, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to prepare the research and program approach to an entrepreneurship collaborative project.
Over the past two years, ACEnet has worked with the Athens County Re-entry Task Force to research and design a prototype program that could enable citizens in re-entry to begin the steps needed for self- employment and eventually small business ownership. Every new client that participates in Job and Family Services’ Athens Reentry Program completes an intake during their initial meeting with Reentry Coordinator Shawn Stover and as part of the pilot each individual would have the opportunity to learn about the program.
In 2018 ACEnet launched its Reentry Microenterprise Program. In the first half of 2018, ACEnet staff visited the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Lancaster, Ohio 3 times and visited the Noble Correctional Institution once to strengthen ACEnet’s relationship with the institutions as future microenterprise training locations. Executive Director Larry Fisher, and Microenterprise Program Trainer Sarah Cornwell visited the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Lancaster to present information about ACEnet’s General Entrepreneurship and Kitchen Sector Training programs to 12 case workers and 39 inmates. This group of inmates will soon be returning home to Athens, Meigs, Morgan, Perry and Vinton Counties.With funding from the SBA PRIME award, ACEnet is offering business and kitchen sector training programs to formerly incarcerated individuals upon return to these five counties. So far, ACEnet’s new Microenterprise Program Trainer, Kyle Verge, has delivered our free series of 6 General Entrepreneurship classes at four of Athens County’s Public Library branches: Coolville, Nelsonville, Albany (Wells), Glouster, and also at the OhioMeansJobs – Athens County facility.
ACEnet General Entrepreneurship Course Descriptions 2018
Classes may be taken in any order. Be your own boss and choose the class you need, or take them all!
1. Intro to Entrepreneurship
“You are a Business”
Do you work as a handyman or a contractor?
Or would you like to start a home-based business or start a food business?
If so, this class is for you!
Have you ever considered starting your own business? Do you work as an independent contractor or handyman and want to better manage your business? Would you like to start a home-based business or a food business and do direct sales? Or maybe you are looking to do some income patching and make extra money on the side? Then this class is for you! In this interactive workshop we’ll discuss what makes for a successful business start. You’ll explore your strengths, challenges, communication style, and professionalism. This class is free and open to the public. For more information contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org 740-592-3854 ext. 120.
2. Product & Service Development
“What Problem are You Solving?”
Create a product or service that solves a problem and meets customer needs.
Whether you are selling a product or a service, you are creating something of value that someone else will pay money for to solve a problem. Learn how to identify market needs and how to match your products and services to meet customer needs. Product development will include proper labeling, advertising, and compliance with regulations. Service development may entail training and certificate programs as well as specialized experience to master your craft to provide high quality service. This class is free and open to the public. For more information contact Kyle at email@example.com 740-592-3854 ext. 120.
3. Marketing & Social Media
“Marketing for Businesses”
Learn how to tell your unique story.
Explore how to use text, photos, and graphics to market your business.
How do you identify and target a specific audience for marketing your products or services? In this class participants will learn how to develop brand identity using logos and other visual tools. Learn how to tell your unique story and develop marketing materials that reinforce your brand. We’ll explore using social media and other forms of advertising to reach potential customers. This class is free and open to the public. For more information contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org 740-592-3854 ext. 120.
4. Licensing & Legal Requirements
“Explore Types of Businesses”
Determine the right business structure for you! The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications.
Protect your investment by choosing the right structure for your business. Learn the differences between operating as a sole-proprietor and forming an LLC (limited liability company), a partnership, or a corporation. Each business type has a different purpose as well as a different legal structure and paperwork filing requirements. This class is free and open to the public. To register contact Kyle Verge at email@example.com 740-592-3854 ext. 120.
5. Bookkeeping, Finance, Taxes
“Money & Finance”
How do you know if you are making or losing money? In this class you will learn how to keep good records to manage money.
How do you know if your business is making or losing money? What information do you need to collect for taxes? In this workshop we will explore how to manage small business income and expenses through good recordkeeping. You’ll gain confidence by learning the difference between cash and accrual based accounting systems and how to balance your budget. This class is free and open to the public. To register contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org 740-592-3854 ext. 120.
6. Writing a Business Plan
“Planning your Business”
Get help writing a business plan that you can use to organize your ideas and set goals for your business.
This planning class is designed to help you start, grow, expand, and sustain your business. We’ll discuss the elements of a business plan and how to use your plan to organize ideas and set goals for your business. During this interactive workshop, participants will get a chance to work on their own business plans. This class is free and open to the public. To register contact Kyle at email@example.com 740-592-3854 ext. 120.
If you want to know more about the organizations that make up the Athens County Re-entry Task Force, or about Kyle’s role in re-entry work, check out his first blog entry: 28 Awesome Local Programs Providing Relief To Re-entry Populations