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By Judy Fox, Business & Entrepreneurship Regional Director, Los Angeles Region
Los Angeles Mission and Cerritos Community Colleges, in collaboration with the Business & Entrepreneurship Sector of the Los Angeles Region, held the new “Start > Go > Grow” entrepreneurial workshop series on their campuses in 2019. These two-day workshops were free and open to students and the community alike, and served to connecting them to the tools, resources, and support networks to help advance their endeavors.
Beginning with the “Start” component of the series, this workshop takes participants beyond the dream and puts their ideas into practice. “This is not just a workshop about self-discovery and finding the motivation to take the next step. This workshop “is” the next step,” states Georgia Abbott, facilitator of the workshop series. “Utilizing the Business Model Canvas and Harvard methodology, students are guided through the process of launching their business, product, or service—including set-up, funding options, positioning/marketing, creating support networks, navigating LA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, pitching to investors, connecting to local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and beyond.”
In addition, participants had the opportunity to learn from a storytelling panel of local entrepreneurs who shared their personal journeys while serving as day mentors. A resource panel connected participants to funding sources, LinkedIn Learning, and their SBDC contact. Everyone who attended both days of the workshop received a free, one-year subscription to LinkedIn Learning, with access to courses on many entrepreneurially-focused business topics.
Because of the success of this program as indicated by participant surveys, Mission College has planned to offer both the “Start” and “Go” portion of the workshop series, complemented by a pitch competition and faculty training in 2020. Cerritos also hopes to add a pitch competition this spring. The Business & Entrepreneurship sector of LA plans to expand the Start > Go > Grow entrepreneurial workshop series to other community colleges in the LA Region in 2020. These efforts help to further advance the incorporation of the entrepreneurial mindset and promotes the educational resources offered through the region’s community college system.
Storytelling panelists have included such entrepreneurs as:
Alonzo Williams, Godfather of West Coast Hip Hop.
Matthew Wolfhardt, Owner and Designer of Wolfhardt; a luxury leather accessories company.
Syndi Croad, Owner of Moondance Catering.
Eddie Lin, Founder and CEO of NexusEdge.com
Mark Thimmig, Chairman, CEO, Conservaco, LLC & esportzNetwork - Global esports News Partner to Reuters
Dana Powell, Owner of Dana Parker Consulting.
Brian Corbit, Owner of 60Out Escape Room.