CCC workshops prepare entrepreneurs for real world challenges
Taking a class on how to successfully start a business won’t always yield all the answers to questions startup companies face. However, when those classes are combined with speakers and mentors with first-hand knowledge of all the intricacies of the business world, it’s easier to walk away with something more than just an idea for a business. Lisa Tschauner, business instructor and entrepreneurship coordinator at Central Community College in Hastings, believes combining a classroom with real-world advice is vital for a successful entrepreneurial program.
Tschauner has first-hand experience with the challenges small businesses face. Tschauner is a small business owner herself, and her knowledge in entrepreneurship has helped her create workshops through Central Community College that guide entrepreneurs to success.
The workshops bring together participants, professionals, mentors and Tschauner as the instructor for an eight-week program (one workshop, 10 individual sessions) called “Becoming An Entrepreneur: Starting and Developing Your Small Business.” Tschauner believes this program helps entrepreneurs take appropriate risks and figure out how to take the next step.
“Being an entrepreneur has helped me a lot,” Tschauner said. “I understand the biggest hiccup. That’s where I myself have gotten hung up. I don’t have that trait of being a risk taker and I’ve seen that with a lot of people.
“When people are at that point whether they should take it to the next level or let it go, that’s a scary point. I’m very familiar with that.”
According to Tschauner, the workshop’s focus is on starting and developing a small business. If it’s just an idea, the workshop focuses on how to transform ideas into feasible plans. From that point, the program then focuses on development by highlighting different organizations available to help startups get their footing. Other topics include how to find investors, business ventures and forecasting sales. The program also covers branding and logos and an overview of legal issues. By the end of the workshop, aspiring entrepreneurs have business plans ready, Tschauner said.
“You’re going to have everything you need,” Tschauner said. “It’s a one-stop shop. You’re given information on insurance, revenue. We’re actually doing a live webinar for our workshop to talk about sales tax. We have an attorney who comes to the class and they also made that connection. You’re in a comfortable, friendly environment.
“Everyone is in the same stage where they can ask questions. They love the networking not only with each other but with the guest speakers that come to class. That’s invaluable. We take breaks just for collaboration. It’s just a comfortable environment.”
The workshop interfaces with other parts of Central Community College, including art students making and designing brands, IT students building websites and photography students taking promotional photos. College credit for the workshop is also available. The course takes place in Hastings, but Tschauner said anyone can participate. Most of the speakers are from the Hastings and Grand Island areas.
In the spring session, 13 students participated and this fall semester saw 12 students. Tschauner said the smaller numbers are assets for a program like this since fewer participants are easier to maintain.
For Tschauner, the program was more than just an opportunity to teach about entrepreneurship. Tschauner created the entire program herself as a master’s degree project, and because of her own experience as an entrepreneur and her work with NETForce (Nebraska Entrepreneur Task Force), she’s been able to provide first-hand advice to participants.
For more information on Central Community College’s entrepreneurship workshops, contact Lisa Tschauner at email@example.com