Archived Story

Never stop learning: Free training powered by Hewlett Packard

Published 7:40pm Monday, July 28, 2014

New and existing business owners have an opportunity to take free online courses through Beaufort County Community College until Dec. 31.

The pilot program is offered by BCCC through a partnership with Hewlett Packard and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

“This is something from a strategy standpoint. Were going to continue to have this as an opportunity for life-long learners and entrepreneurs,” said Lentz Stowe, director of BCCC’s Business and Industry Services.

There are more than 20 courses offered, which include online selling, finance, sales, setting prices, social media marketing, hiring, customer relations and managing inventory.

“A number of us took the classes and I would say that within the classes the beauty of it is they are free,” Stowe said. “The content are a lot of downloads — templates for sales and inventory control and marketing any operation for a small business.

“There are a lot of little tools you can get that are free,” Stowe said. “They are just a simple download away.”

After each completed course, the student will receive a certificate, which can be put in their business plan, Stowe said.

The classes are designed for individuals who live too far from BCCC, but would like to take classes and learn how to make their business better and more efficient.

“The beauty of this is that anyone can take these classes anywhere, at any time that is convenient for them,” Stowe said in a press release. “And they can take all of the courses or only the ones that interest them.”

The sessions last nearly a month and are self-paced, which makes it possible for more aspiring entrepreneurs to participate, according to the training website.

“This is an exciting aspect of the program that will appeal to many participants,” Stowe said.

Participants of the classes will use Microsoft Office products like Word and Excel, which will help with budgets and other activities.

According to a press release, the BCCC Small Business Center was one of 58 across North Carolina in 2012-2013 that provided entrepreneurship seminars and/or counseling to more than 50,000 individuals, resulting in 528 business start-ups and 2,967 jobs created or retained.

“This can be the difference between encouraging somebody to go a little bit further and maybe they will assess the risk well enough that they feel good to proceed and have the resources to do it as well,” Stowe said.


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