Local News

Free business mentorship program offered to 17 emerging entrepreneurs

RUTLAND—To support the ongoing growth of entrepreneurship in Rutland County, the Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) partnered with the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) and Berkshire Bank to offer a free 10-week business planning course to 17 emerging entrepreneurs in Rutland County, with extended training through a unique mentorship program.

The course is being administered by CWE through a grant from Accenture and held at REDC’s office in downtown Rutland with instruction from Hannah Abrams of Business Coach Vermont. The course takes students from developing elevator pitches to financials and operations planning. Many of the class participants are makers and entrepreneurs from The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace, according to a new release March 29.

By the end of the 10-week course, students will have a complete business plan. For an additional six weeks students will receive one-on-one feedback as they carry out their business plans.
The REDC entrepreneurship committee continues to work with area leaders to establish the group of mentors. Each mentor brings a variety of skills and experience, and will be paired with a student following a matchmaking event held during the class graduation on April 19. The course began Feb. 1 and, in response to interest and high rates of enrollment, there are plans to offer the course on a regular basis.

“The demand for this course is further evidence that Rutland County’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is robust and growing,” said Lyle Jepson, executive director of REDC. “By connecting emerging entrepreneurs with technical support, existing tools and networks, and the expertise of established business leaders, together we are giving new businesses the resources they need to succeed right here in Rutland County.”

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