N.C. Project Growing America Through Entrepreneurship (GATE) operates through the Small Business Center at Richmond Community College and has named a group of community leaders, entrepreneurs and small business professionals to serve as the Community Support Team for an upcoming NC Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) series.
Sessions meet twice a week and run May 2 through May 29 at RCC’s Cole Auditorium. There is no charge for the sessions, which help aspiring entrepreneurs research and write business plans.
“Scotland and Richmond counties have plenty of room for more diverse businesses. The NC REAL program is a great resource that provides education to anyone interested in becoming entrepreneurs. The college and support team members have been more than gracious in supporting this opportunity,” said GATE Counselor Natasha Khachaturov.
Small Business Center Director Deborah Hardison and GATE counselor Natasha Khachaturov will lead the team of professionals from Richmond and Scotland counties who are offering their services to students. They are Loren Cornish and Douglas Glass, professors of business at St. Andrew’s University; William Purcell II, attorney at law; Jim McMillan of Dunbar Insurance Agency; Larry Allred Jr. of All n One Barber & Beauty LLC; Will Carpenter of BB&T bank, April Gonzalez of the Small Business Association’s North Carolina District Office; and Rayshonia Manuael of the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development’s (CEED) Women’s Business Center in Fayetteville.
“The REAL program helped me a lot,” said Larry Allred, who started his business two years ago. “There was a lot of information I didn’t know, and they gave me a direction to go in and resources to access. People don’t realize what it takes to run a business. When you work for someone else, you don’t see all of the work that goes on behind closed doors just to keep the business going. Being in GATE and the REAL program gave me access to business professionals who were busy, but who took the time to help me get my business started on the right foot.”
All community support members will participate by providing vital information to the sessions on several aspects of business and business planning. Several “action learning” activities will also be facilitated by Natasha Khachaturov to acclimate participants to key points of business such as marketing, financial planning, loan processes, taxes, insurance, and legal structures of business.
Sessions start on May 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Cole Auditorium.. Those who complete the course will receive a certificate that can be used for continuing education units and/or proof to potential lenders of their newly acquired understanding of business practices. Seating is limited.
Anyone interested in joining the class can contact Natasha Khachaturov at firstname.lastname@example.org or Deborah Hardison at email@example.com or by calling 910-410-1687. Registration is free.