SBDC at SCF Celebrates Success of Entrepreneurs at Graduation Ceremony May 14

(Bradenton, Fla., May 7, 2013) — The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) will celebrate the success of participants who completed the 11-week Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO) course at a graduation ceremony from 7 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota, 1845 34th Street.

The public is invited to attend the graduation ceremony that features presentations from graduates about their business ideas, which include a preschool, bail bonds company, retail T-shirt design and sales, personal fitness center, elderly care and law firm.

SCF provided basic business training and on-site counseling to participants of the Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO) course, a project of the Newtown/ North Sarasota Redevelopment Office of the city of Sarasota in partnership with Suncoast Workforce, which sponsors the class twice annually. Corporate sponsors include Comerica Bank and SunTrust Bank. The class receives other support and mentoring by local business experts including Rich Odato of Odato Marketing Group; Shelli Freeland Eddie, a local attorney; SCORE; SunTrust Bank and representatives from the city of Sarasota.

"This course is valuable to individuals because it takes them through a step-by-step planning and budgeting process and gives them the necessary skills to determine whether starting their own business is right for them," said Carolyn Griffin, director of the SBDC at SCF and Certified Business Analyst (CBA).

SCF has been awarded the contract to provide training for the course for the third consecutive session. The course was held at the North Sarasota Business Resource Center -- The HIVE -- 2714 N. Osprey Avenue, Sarasota, located within the Sarasota Enterprise Zone.

Everyone who has completed the program is contacted by SCF's CBAs who offer additional support for those who have continued the process of launching a new business.

As the region's economic engine, SCF's training through the CEO program provides the infrastructure to create and retain jobs in communities that historically have experienced unemployment rates higher than the surrounding region.

The CEO program, a project of the Newtown/North Sarasota Redevelopment Office, was launched six years ago for entrepreneurs in the Sarasota Enterprise Zone area who are starting or improving their businesses.

For more information, call the SBDC at SCF at 941-408-1412.

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