By its very definition, entrepreneurship involves personal and financial risk. But it doesn't take millions to make every entrepreneurs' self-employment dreams come true.
An emerging program of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission
(NKCAC) aims to support entrepreneurship and small business ownership: the Rekindle Micro-Enterprise Development Program.
NKCAC supports micro-enterprise -- generally a business with five or fewer employees -- by offering technical, financial, marketing and other resources to Northern Kentuckians who want to create their own economic opportunities.
"We started the program about a year ago, with a focus on low-income people," says Robert Yoder, NKYAC Micro-Enterprise/Small Business Development project director. "This is a place where they can test their ideas, understand what it means to run a business and see the challenges they could face ahead of time."
The program is free for those who meet income eligibility requirements, with a $35 material fee for others. After an assessment, applicants go through a six-week business development course that includes training in entrepreneurship skills, obtaining financing, learning about accounting and tax issues, financial literacy and marketing and writing a business plan.
Program graduates can apply for $5,000 in low-interest loans to start or expand their businesses. Potentially, grads can access up to $500,000 in financing though Rekindle financing partners.
The program has worked with new and existing businesses, Yoder says. He mentions the success story of barber Devin Pinkelton, who came through the program after first cutting hair in his home, then moving to a 10-foot by 12-foot space that held a single barber chair.
"We worked with Devin to update his business plan, develop cash flow projections and provided advice on site selection for his new location that had excellent visibility and parking. Once everything was in place, Devin applied for $5,000 from the Rekindle Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund to remodel and purchase fixtures for the barber shop," Yoder says.
In June, Pinkelton opened a three-chair shop in Florence.
"His new location has much better visibility and his business is really growing," Yoder says.
New Covington eatery WhackBurger
, fast becoming a local favorite, is also a Rekindle graduate, Yoder adds.
The next class starts Aug. 16. Find out more at the Rekindle
By Feoshia H. Davis
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