Nine Graduate from Entrepreneurial SMARTS Class in Manchester

MANCHESTER, Ky. - Nine people from Clay and surrounding counties braved the elements in late January and February to invest in their futures by attending and completing SKED's Entrepreneurial SMARTS course offered in Manchester, Ky.

Graduates are pictured, standing from left: Becky Harness of Lancaster; Katrina Henson of Urban Creek Farm in Manchester; Ronnie Lyttle of Lyttle Electric Inc. in Manchester and Melody Washburn of Blue Diamond Exterminating Co, Inc. in Hyden; seated from left: Robert M. Shoemaker II of Richmond; Karen Erby of Manchester; Nathan Teague of Thesey's Diner in Manchester; Derrell Wilson of Corbin and McKenzie Washburn of Blue Diamond Exterminating Co, Inc. in Hyden.

For one local business owner, the SMARTS course gave her much-needed information and, admittedly, showed her some things she should have already been doing at her company.

"I thought I knew a little bit about business," said Melody Washburn, with Blue Diamond Exterminating Co., Inc. in Hyden, Ky. "Then I took the SMARTS training and I realized just how little I really knew."

Corbin resident Derrell Wilson called it a: "Fantastic course on the fundamentals of startups. It has well thought out supplemental material and is a terrific value," he added.

Other graduates included Becky Harness, of Lancaster; Katrina Henson of Urban Creek Farm in Manchester; Ronnie Lyttle of Lyttle Electric Inc. in Manchester; Robert M. Shoemaker II of Richmond; Karen Erby of Manchester; Nathan Teague, manager of Thesey's Diner in Manchester and McKenzie Washburn of Blue Diamond Exterminating Co, Inc. in Hyden.

This was longtime SKED Small Business Training Specialist Pat Bradley's last class. She retired from SKED in February. Amanda Kelly is SKED's new small business training specialist. She is teaching her first class in Edmonton this month.

Entrepreneurial SMARTS is a four-session, 12-hour course designed to provide entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resource materials they need to get a new small business off the ground. This training also provides owners of existing small businesses the skills they need to become more successful and grow their businesses.

Today, a total of 377 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners have completed entrepreneurial SMARTS training in 30 sessions held across the 45 counties in SKED's service area.

Registration is under way now for Entrepreneurial SMARTS courses in Louisa and Monticello, Ky.

SKED conducts the entrepreneurial and small business training program - Entrepreneurial SMARTS: Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success - which is based on a nationally recognized training program called Core Four(r) Business Planning Course. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has provided funding support for these training sessions.

Entrepreneurial SMARTS training has reached people from all walks of life. Participants have included owners of existing small businesses, folks working to open their own small business in the near future, entrepreneurs seeking some direction on the basics of starting and managing a small business, retirees, college students, employees of nonprofit organizations seeking education and training to more effectively assist their constituents and people who are unemployed and seeking an alternative to the traditional job market. Anyone interested in learning about starting and successfully operating a small business is encouraged to participate.

Amanda Kelly, SKED small business training specialist, conducts the Entrepreneurial SMARTS classes. Kelly is a certified Core Four(r) Business Planning Course instructor. She is among more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country who have been certified as Core Four(r) Business Planning Course instructors.

At Entrepreneurial SMARTS training sessions, entrepreneurs and small business owners are instructed in how to create a business plan including basic knowledge about starting, financing and operating a business and planning for success. Class participants are also given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them.

Existing small business owners receive the support they need to advance the growth of their business and operate a solid, reliable investment. Upon successful completion of this training, participants receive a certificate recognizing their achievements and are eligible to apply for business startup or expansion funding from SKED's loan funds.

This nationally recognized course is valued at $250 per student. However, due to financial support through a grant from the ARC, combined with financial support from SKED, participants pay a mere $25 per person. In addition, each participant receives a valuable Core Four(r) Business Planning Course manual and numerous resource materials.

For information about entrepreneurship training, contact Amanda Kelly at (606) 416 - 2008 or by email at . For more information or to register for SMARTS training in your area, visit Click on the Training link.

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Formed 28 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in Southeast Kentucky, the economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 45-county region in Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs.


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