Many Rising Above and Expert Reclaim clients have a criminal record which impedes their ability to obtain jobs. CDPS leadership recognized the need for other options for these individuals and identified entrepreneurship as a possible solution.
Historically, entrepreneurship skills have not been taught in job development programs in Cuyahoga County. CDPS saw this as a critical gap and formulated a way to address the need for such training in partnership with Madison Development Consulting. This program enhancement has provided clients the skills and coaching needed to start their own businesses. Participation will be based on the results of the various assessments. .
Workshop topics are detailed in the table below.
INTRODUCTION/ARE YOU ENTREPRENEURIAL MATERIAL?
Clients will gain an understanding of course curriculum and expectations; recognize the importance of business planning; gain knowledge of the components of a start-up business plan; assess personal and business aptitude; and experience networking with class participants.
DEVELOPING YOUR BUSINESS CONCEPT
Clients will recognize the importance of the customer; understand key differences between retail, service and manufacturing businesses; identify sources of ideas for business opportunities; and begin to develop and define their own business concept.
BUSINESS START-UP OPTIONS AND MARKET RESEARCH
Clients will gain understanding of the benefits and challenges of starting a business; explore the pros and cons of start-up options including creating, buying, franchising and joining a family business; and gain a basic understanding of the business research process.
Clients will understand characteristics of business legal structures; become familiar with key regulatory and taxation issues; develop a basic understanding of contracts; identify potential business risks and mitigation methods; explore management and employee issues.
TESTING THE IDEA: MARKET RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
Clients will understand definitions and steps involved in marketing; become familiar with terms used in marketing; develop an understanding of the importance of market analysis; identify direct, indirect, future competition; and analyze the customer using demographics and psychographics.
GETTING TO THE MARKET: MARKETING STRATEGIES
Clients will become familiar with the four P’s of marketing and their relationship to marketing strategy; gain knowledge of pricing products or services; understand key elements of promotion; begin to focus on marketing strategies specifically relating to their products/services.
UNDERSTANDING BUDGETS AND FINANCIALS
Clients will gain an understanding of accounting and financial matters; identify start-up expenses; develop sales forecast, budgets and assumptions; assemble data and prepare monthly cash flow projections; and calculate the break-even point in units and dollars for their business.
RAISING MONEY, GETTING STARTED & MANAGING THE FUTURE
Clients will examine fixed assets needs and depreciation; distinguish between debt and equity financing; prepare a summary of financial needs; understand the documentation requirements for obtaining financing; write a feasibility statement; understand the basics of making deals; discuss their decision to move forward with or abandon their business idea; and understand next actions required if they proceed with their plan.