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Applications Being Accepted for 2016 Entrepreneurship Program

Operation Jumpstart builds on a culture of entrepreneurship that sustains job creation

When the Grenada EDD started operations in 2009 its primary mandate was to support job creation. One of the pillars of the Grenada strategy was to create a culture of entrepreneurship supported by elected leaders, the business community, and educational institutions that so clearly contribute to the creation and transformation of our cultural values.  The Grenada Operation Jumpstart program, unveiled in 2011, provided institutions in the community with the chance to works towards the creation of the entrepreneurial culture that was envisioned through the EDD strategic plan in 2009.

Under the leadership of Holmes Community College (HCC) and the Grenada EDD, and with the support of committed sponsors like BancorpSouth, Cleveland State Bank, the Grenada Chamber of Commerce, the Grenada Star, State Bank & Trust, Renasant Bank, and Regions Bank, the program is now about to start its sixth season.  More than 50 entrepreneurs have graduated the program in the past five sessions. The effectiveness of the program is reflected in the opening and expansion of small businesses in the community such as Tech Smart, Mary’s Designs, Accutek,  Steppin’ Up Hair Style Shop, T & Z Wings, Lilly Rose Bed and Breakfast, Townes Funeral Home, Polly’s Beauty Salon, Load A Lot Unlimited, Ship A Lot Unlimited, and several home based and online businesses.

Through our ongoing partnership with HCC and our sponsors, the EDD has led a number of workshops in the last few years for small business owners, while providing market intelligence through our economic gardening programs, and offering other entrepreneurial training to people in the area. In the past, Grenadians found gaps in entrepreneurial support services, specifically the need for one-on-one support for entrepreneurs that were serious about opening their business. We are proud we can say today that this is not the case anymore and that Grenada area entrepreneurs can now find the support they need to plan for a successful business by participating in the Operation Jumpstart Program.

If you are one of those entrepreneurs in need of this kind of hands-on support and want to execute your ideas and open or grow a small business, this is the time. The EDD and its partners understand that the process of starting a business can be one of the scariest things a person can do. This program will provide you the tools to develop a realistic business plan through a process that will help you analyze in detail your options, understand your market and your competitors, and define a clear strategy that will keep you focused on the goal of creating a profitable and sustainable business.

This nationally recognized program will take you step by step through the process of testing the viability of your idea and creating a business plan in six weeks. Only 20 entrepreneurs will be accepted into the class and admission is competitive. We are looking for people serious about opening their business because we want to help them get started and help them position their business for success. Meetings will be held at Holmes Community College on Monday and Thursday nights and they will be task oriented. You will have guidance and a program workbook to help you do your work; the program will provide facilitators to support you, and more importantly, you will have business coaches (people that have been successful in business) that will help you create your plan and answer your questions. If you are serious about opening your business, this is the time for you to do the work and have a business plan finished in just six weeks.

After six weeks, you will be given the opportunity to enter your business plan into a competition. The best business plan will win a $1,000 seed grant to help you “Jumpstart” your business. Do you know how many people would like the opportunity to have their business plan reviewed by qualified bankers and win a $1,000 seed grant? Even if you don’t win the top prize, you will get a unique opportunity to showcase your idea to the financing community in our area.

For further information or to register, call the Grenada EDD at 662-229-9502 or email us at info@grenadameansbusiness.com and ask about Operation Jumpstart. Admission is limited and the deadline for registration is January 22, so hurry and let us help you get started on your new venture.  The 2016 sessions begin Monday, January 28, and graduation will be held on Thursday, March 17.

Applications are available from the Grenada EDD office, located in the corporate Regions Bank building at 2000 Gateway Street, Grenada, MS.  Applications also are available at the Grenada Area Chamber of Commerce and from the EDD website (www.grenadameansbusiness.com)