The small-business advocacy organization SCORE debuts its 2008 “5 for 5 Business Education Series” beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27 through May 8, followed in the fall by a 13-week entrepreneur certificate program, “How to Start and Expand a Business.”
The series is a combined effort by the NW Ohio 5 Collaborative Partnership of SCORE, Northwest State Community College (NSCC) in Archbold, Center for Innovative Food Technology, NW Small Business Development Center and Six Disciplines business excellence centers. The coalition serves small business in Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding and Williams counties.
“It’s come from the need of the five counties in the west because being the Rust Belt that we are, have been in the past, we need to focus on small business and develop, shall we say, niche businesses in the area so we build the community business instead of a big-box or big company business. So we’re focusing on small-business development,” said Loren Frendt, SCORE chairman.
The “5 for 5” series focuses on specific issues small businesses tend to face, he continued, which were carefully developed. Topics range from HR management to workers’ compensation to business succession. One event, Sustainable Food Day, addresses innovations such as co-ops, community gardens and niche markets for local producers and marketers throughout the area.
The ongoing programs, such as Sustainable Food Day, aim to revitalize the region’s economy by strengthening, for instance, ties between local suppliers and marketers of produce and other foods. Frendt described “5 for 5” overall as “a community business structure for supporting small business” based on survey responses his organization has compiled.
“[The economy] pretty much dictates to us what’s happening as far as small business is concerned in our culture today, and we need to pull together as a community to make things happen,” he said.
All events are held at the NSCC campus. Admission is $15 per person or $50 for groups of five. Sustainable Food Day is free and open to the public. For more information call SCORE at (419) 865-8503 or visit www.scoretoledo.org.