College to offer online entrepreneurial classes in 2015

Published 4:35 pm Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thursday, Beaufort County Community College started offering new online entrepreneurial courses free of charge to help potential and existing business owners in the area.

The courses, which cover topics such as online testing, finance basics, forecasting sales, setting prices, social media marketing, hiring staff, customer relations, managing inventory and others, are designed to give entrepreneurs “a good introduction to the topics,” said Lentz Stowe, director of BCCC’s Business and Industry Services. The courses are offered by the college through a partnership with Hewlett Packard and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. The classes are ideal to those potential and existing business owners who live at a distance from the college’s campus but would like more information about particular business-related topics, Stowe said.

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

Stowe said the courses also contain supporting materials like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or Word templates that entrepreneurs can download to aid in managing cash flow, employees and other activities and information. The online courses are an addition to existing counselor services and workshops offered free of charge by the college’s Small Business Center and are offered continuously on the website in sessions that last about one month. Other sessions will continue throughout the year, Stowe said.

The Small Business Center is one of 58 centers across North Carolina that in 2012-2013 provided entrepreneurship seminars and/or counseling to more than 50,000 individuals, resulting in 528 business startups and 2,967 jobs created and/or retained, according to Stowe.

Stowe said those who register for the online courses will also be linked to a network of entrepreneurs and trainers throughout the world and have access to discussion boards, profiles and mentors.

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

Stowe said to access the course, visit the N.C. Small Business Center website at Click on “HP LIFE Online Training.” When the map of North Carolina appears, select a county of residence. From there, on the Events/Workshops page, click on “HP LIFE.” Then register by creating a username and password on the “HP LIFE Online Entrepreneurship Training.”

Once registered, the available courses can be accessed on the “HP LIFE e-Learning” page. After completing the business concept and technology skill activities of a course, a brief survey must be taken and then students receive a certificate of completion, Stowe said.

For more information about BCCC’s Business and Industry Services, including seminars for current and prospective business owners, contact Stowe at 252-940-6306 or by email at Information about upcoming workshops is available on the BCCC website at