STANFORD — Dr. Jennifer L. Brown, O.D., didn’t need a prescription to see the benefits of Southeast Kentucky Economic Development’s Entrepreneurial SMARTS training (Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success). All she needed was $25 and a desire to better manage her burgeoning optometry business in Somerset.
The Pulaski County native was among 12 current and aspiring small business owners from all walks of life who attended SMARTS training in Stanford this month and received certificates of completion recently at The L&N Depot.
“I have found the individuals at SKED and the organization as a whole, including Pat Bradley and the Entrepreneurial SMARTS training, to be nothing short of exemplary,” said Brown, owner of 20/20 Vision. “They are helpful, attentive and uplifting through the very exciting, yet intimidating process of planning a successful business.”
At the SMARTS sessions, men and women from Lincoln and surrounding counties participated in four, three-hour classes where they were instructed in the basics of starting, financing and operating a business and planning for its success. Class participants were given the tools needed to determine whether business ownership is for them and one-on-one training to assist them in developing that dream this month at The L&N Depot in Stanford.
Graduates include: Nathan Mick, Garrard County economic development director, of Lancaster; Craig Wilson, owner of Mountain View Web Designs, of Berea; Blaine Staat, Liberty-Casey County Chamber of Commerce and economic development director of Liberty; Catherine Staat, of Women With Savvy of Liberty and Sean Day, owner of Dayz Enterprises of Somerset; Kenny McDaniel, of Stanford; Robert Young, owner of Turtle Mania, LLC, of Stanford; Marissa Phillippe, of Quest Adult Day Health Care Inc. in Somerset; Janet Hansford, of Quest Adult Day Health Care Inc. in Somerset; Carol Poston, of Create A Change! Counseling, in Berea; Jennifer Brown, owner of 20/20 Vision Center in Somerset and Glenna Godby of Eubank.
Other graduates gave helpful feedback about the training after graduation.
“This is an outstanding program for anyone interested in small business from entrepreneurs to economic development professionals. Thanks to SKED for this tremendous opportunity to learn and grow,” said Nathan Mick, Garrard County economic development director.
“Thanks Pat! I have stayed up many nights (after class) excited to put into action the things I learned. You have made it all doable!” said Catherine R. Staat of Casey County.
SKED is offering the nationally recognized entrepreneurial and small business training program to residents in 10 communities across its 42-county service area this year.
Future training sites include: Somerset, Hazard, Jamestown, Morehead and Corbin. Training sessions will begin in Jamestown on Sept. 10, and a second Somerset session will begin on Sept. 12. Classes continue in 2013 in January at Morehead and Corbin in February.
Pat Bradley, SKED small business training specialist, presents the classes. She has received training in presenting the Core Four Business Planning Course, the basis for Entrepreneurial SMARTS training.
This nationally recognized course is valued at $250 per student. However, due to financial support through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) combined with financial support from SKED, participants pay a mere $25 charge per person.
SKED has been providing support for new business development and small business expansion throughout Southeast Kentucky for some 16 years. This entrepreneurial and small business training program is designed to supplement SKED’s work to develop successful and sustainable small business ownership in Southeast Kentucky. Entrepreneurial SMARTS graduates are now eligible to apply for business start-up or expansion funding from SKED’s loan funds.
SKED was formed 26 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in Southeast Kentucky. The economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 42-county region in Southeast Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs.
For more information about SKED’s services or the training program, visit www.southeastkentucky. com.