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Small Business Center program seeks entrepreneurs

Posted on January 13, 2021

Local news
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class will meet in person at Station Square on the first night and last night of class, with the eight weeks in between being held on Zoom. 

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class will meet in person at Station Square on the first night and last night of class, with the eight weeks in between being held on Zoom. 

ROCKY MOUNT — After a successful fall cohort, the Smal Business Center at Nash Community College is bringing its Launch Rocky Mount program back next month. 

With support from the Eastern N.C. Center for Business and Entrepreneurship at N.C. Wesleyan College, the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and Station Square, the Small Business Center received a $15,000 Wells Fargo grant to offer the Launch Rocky Mount program to spur business creation. 

Classes will begin Feb. 2. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class will meet in person at Station Square on the first night and last night of class, with the eight weeks in between being held on Zoom. 

At least 28 entrepreneurs will receive full scholarships for the program, funded by Launch Rocky Mount’s financial support. 

The Kauffman FastTrac curriculum will assist early-stage entrepreneurs in defining products and services, identifying core customers, creating financial tools and developing marketing strategies. 

By the end of the program, participants will have a working business plan and can compete for one of nine $500 cash prizes for the top business plan pitches. A total of $4,500 in cash prizes will be awarded. 

The Small Shops Marketplace has agreed to continue the partnership with Launch Rocky Mount for a second cohort and will award one participant with retail space in Small Shops. The program will also include ongoing business counseling and support services, such as legal, accounting and marketing, which early-stage business may find difficult to obtain due to heavy startup costs. 

Lending is important to new businesses that often face challenges in securing traditional business financing. Program partner Kiva will allow for participants to apply for a zero-interest loan up to $15,000 depending on their current business status. Interested parties are encouraged to apply for this program no later than Friday, Jan. 15. 

Apply online to participate in Launch Rocky Mount Biz by visiting www.launchrockymountbiz.org. 

The center is also accepting applications for its Business Mentors program. Mentors will provide participants with advice, counsel and encouragement and act as a sounding board to help participants work through crucial and complex decisions. 

Prospective mentors are asked to contact the Small Business Center or complete the mentor application online at  www.launchrockymountbiz.org/mentor-application. 

For more information, contact Tierra Norwood at 252-451-8233 or tanorwood386@nashcc.edu. 

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