A free workshop slated for Feb. 10 for aspiring business owners already has sold out.
The “Steps to Start a Business” session is part of a 12-week entrepreneurship program that includes classroom instruction and lunch-and-learn sessions led by experts in various fields.
Vanessa Allen McCloud, president and CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, said the workshop's quick enrollment shows a need in the community.
The Urban League of NWI developed the entrepreneurship program after multiple entrepreneurs reached out for advice and resources about starting or growing their businesses. Allen-McCloud sought the expertise of her board to help develop a concept and a curriculum for business owners.
Board member Babiyah Shabazz was instrumental in getting the program off the ground. Shabazz is the owner of Decimalytics, a firm that specializes in accounting, analytics, investments and economics.
“As we began to do research to develop the entrepreneurship program, it became evident that local businesses were applying for government grants and needed various skills and/or certifications in order to qualify for funding,” Shabazz said in a press release. “We also discovered amazing programs that other Urban League affiliates were already implementing from which we could benchmark our efforts.”
The program is supported by a group of financial institutions and organizations that are donating funds and resources.
“I am extremely excited about the experience we are offering entrepreneurs in Lake, Porter and La Porte counties,” McCloud said. “They will be the first to participate in this venture, so we are eager to get their feedback and witness their growth and success as a result of this initiative.”
The second in the series will be a lunch and learn at noon March 1 at J's Breakfast Club in Gary.
“In celebration of Women's History Month, we will conduct a Women In Business: Fireside Chat,” Shabazz said in an email. “Experts will share new ideas, innovative solutions, and alternative viewpoints that can help businesses think outside the box and make more informed decisions.”
For more information about the program or to donate, call 219-887-9621.
The Urban League of NWI works to improve the social, educational and economic conditions of African Americans and other minorities. The nonprofit organization serves Lake, Porter and La Porte counties. The Urban League of NWI was founded in 1945.