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April 8, 2010 Volume 31, No. 26

Online course for startups is expanding

First steps

Expanded course includes advice on ‘go’ or ‘no-go’

With today’s economy and high unemployment rate, many people are taking matters into their own hands by starting their own businesses, despite the low success rate for small business startups. Now, an expanded online course, Starting a Small Business: The First Steps, will give more Missourians an opportunity to learn what it takes to start a small business. MU Extension’s Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers is expanding that course with the help of the College of Education.

“People look at starting a new business when the economy goes bad and they lose their jobs and have to take a second look at their employment prospects,” says Kevin Stover, assistant director for specialized services in the small business and technology development centers.

“When starting a business, many people have high hopes and unrealistic expectations. The ‘First Steps’ course gives entrepreneurs a primer to the financial, management and organizational skills needed to start their small business and takes them through the potential minefield of what might happen.”

The course is a three-hour class offered in locations across the state and led by consultants Counselors work with potential entrepreneurs to help them validate their business idea and make a ‘go’ or ‘no go’ decision,” Stover says.

The Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers also offer classes for entrepreneurs with startup or established businesses.