Want to Start a Business? 6 Reasons Why You Need to Check out CCA’s Entrepreneurship Program

Neil Pollard, Lead Faculty for CCA's Entrepreneurship program, works with student Mylei Zavala on a cost analysis for her new business.Have you ever thought about starting your own business?

Maybe you’re not even sure what kind of business you want to start but know you want to be your own boss, make your own hours, and create a product or service that you know people will love. Maybe you do have a business idea but don’t know where to start. Or maybe you feel like you have all the pieces put together in your head but don’t have access to the funds needed to keep your business humming along post-launch.

 

Request more information about CCA’s Entrepreneurship program and the $1,000 scholarships set aside for Entrepreneurship students

 

Whatever the case may be, talk to any business owner and they’ll all tell you that starting a new business is both challenging and rewarding.

The biggest challenge? Laying the right foundation so your business is primed for long-term success. Lots of new businesses flutter and fold because the right research wasn’t done and the correct strategies weren’t used.

However, when the proper research is conducted and the right strategies are used, great things can happen.

Enter CCA’s Entrepreneurial Launch Certificate program. If starting your own business has ever crossed your mind, this program is for you. Here are the top six reasons why…

 

#1: It’s the most comprehensive Entrepreneurship program in the Colorado Community College System.

While lots of community college Entrepreneurship programs across the country can best be described as “bare bones,” CCA’s robust program is designed to help you think like an entrepreneur and become a successful business owner. As a student, you’ll learn about the principles of entrepreneurship, create a feasibility study, write a business plan, and apply your newly minted business knowledge in the real world by consulting for a local company for 16 weeks. In other words, you’ll acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to plan, launch, and grow your own business – all in just two semesters.

 

#2: The courses are taught by experienced business professionals.

The instructors who will be teaching and guiding you aren’t business theorists who spend their days locked behind closed doors poring over peer-reviewed journal articles and writing 138-page papers. They’re business owners themselves who understand the financial, legal, and startup aspects of getting new businesses up and running. They’ve done it all before. Here’s how Adrienne Johnson, a CCA student who launched her own barbecue sauce company while in the program, put it: “This program will help you get to where you need to be step by step. That part is amazing. It’s like having a personal mentor.”

 

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#3: You get to spend time generating revenue for your business in CCA’s grant-funded incubator.

CCA is home to the only on-campus business incubator in the CCCS system. This professional workspace features $40,000 worth of business resources, including QuickBooks, Adobe Creative Cloud, and other applications; 3D modeling and prototyping software; a wide-format printer for creating large canvas and vinyl displays; a phone system for business and conference calls; a printer, copier, and fax machine; and a host of other amenities. All these resources, which eliminate many of the costs associated with starting a new business, are yours to use while you’re in the program.

 

#4: A network of local business professionals stands ready to help you.

“Networking opportunities for entrepreneurs are one of the most important ingredients for new business activity to occur and sustain itself. Such networks enable entrepreneurs to collaborate, share knowledge and information, and learn from others.” That’s from the University of Colorado Boulder’s 2017 “Business Economic Outlook” report. And it’s true – networking and entrepreneurial success go hand in hand. As a CCA Entrepreneurship student, you’ll have access to the program’s 23-person advisory board, which is made up of local business owners and leaders who are well-versed in starting and growing businesses. These people are ready to help you in any way they can.

 

#5: Funding for your new business is available if you need it.

If you need additional funds for your new business once you’re done with the program, not to worry. CCA has partnered with Community Enterprise Development Services, a local nonprofit organization, for this very reason. CEDS provides seed and acceleration capital to students who need it. “It’s really nice to know that we have those options,” Johnson said.

 

#6: The courses are taught in the evening to accommodate your busy schedule.

Your instructors get it – you’re probably busy during the day. That’s why you and your classmates will meet just once a week, from 6-9 p.m. Once you’re done with the program’s five courses, not only will you have planned, launched, and grown a new business, but you’ll also have a college certificate that will give your resume a snazzy new look.

 

More and more Coloradans are turning to the exciting world of entrepreneurship. According to the Kauffman Foundation’s “Startup Activity” report, among all the metropolitan areas across the U.S., the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield area had the ninth highest “rate of new entrepreneurs” in 2017, at 0.43%. Translation: For every 1,000 adults in the area, 43 of them became entrepreneurs.

The question now is, what kind of business will you create?

 

About the Author

Alex Schultz is the marketing manager at the Community College of Aurora. Prior to coming on board at CCA, he worked as a marketing strategist for a Denver-based energy software company and as a news and sports journalist for a daily newspaper in California's San Joaquin Valley. Alex received a BA in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.  

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