Leading Edge Entrepreneurial Training offers business plan competition

The Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA) is offering a business training course – the Nx Level Leading Edge Course — to help existing business owners and start-up companies develop the necessary strategy and plan for business success. AEDA Executive Director Bart Mitchell announced scholarships for the Leading Edge Training program are now available.

The Leading Edge program is an intensive 12-week program taught nationwide by Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the U.S. It is designed to encourage business expansion and growth for both start-ups and existing companies that need rejuvenation. It teaches the art of better business practices, while participants produce a comprehensive business plan to guide the owner’s decisions and activities.

“Developing a business plan will enable entrepreneurs to evaluate the pros and cons of starting their business, conduct a good market analysis, have good financial planning, look at long-term cash flow needs, and prepare for the skills necessary to accomplish their goals,” Mitchell said.

The 12-week course costs $280 — or $395 for those wanting three hours of college credit. Classes begin February 5 and will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursdays at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Interested entrepreneurs can register for the course by calling AEDA at 731-1443, or they can download an application at www.aedaed.org.

To underscore the importance and benefits of the Leading Edge Training Program to businesses, Region 9 Economic Development District is sponsoring one $280 scholarship. To apply for the scholarship, go on-line to the AEDA Web site “www.aedaed.org.” Attach a one-page written narrative describing your business background, why you need the scholarship, and how it will help you achieve your business goals. Follow the directions at the bottom of the application for submission.

In addition, for every participant who completes an acceptable business plan, the Fort Lewis College SBDC will provide a $100-reimbursement scholarship on the registration fee.

A business plan competition is also being offered to students who take the class, and have the best business plans. A $500 cash award will be given to first place, $250 to second place, and $100 to third.

Taking time to educate yourself and prepare effectively makes a big difference to long-term success in business.

Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA) is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to enable, grow and sustain economic development in Archuleta County. Our mission is to provide business development and support in our County in order to nurture a diverse, local year-round economy that supports the needs, values and quality of life of our community. AEDA accomplishes these goals by working to attract direct based businesses, providing business relocation and mentoring services, training opportunities, financial assistance, incentives, and business and economic data.