Classes map way to starting own business

Original post by Lorri Allen via Azcentral

Many of us have dreamed of launching our own businesses. And metro Phoenix residents hoping to start their own businesses will find there are various resources to help them gain the knowledge they’ll need to launch their ventures.

The Maricopa Community Colleges Small Business Development Center offers two relatively new tools to help budding entrepreneurs or those contemplating starting their own small business.

The first, developed by Hewlett Packard, is called “LIFE — Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs.” The second program, TechEDge, is a partnership with the city of Chandler.

HP LIFE classes, which are free, began in January, and more will be added as people request them, says SBDC Director Mark Engle.

“People really like the approach,” he says. “It’s not the typical training of a sage on the stage, but more about solving problems, such as getting customers or managing inventory.”

The classes offer five training levels, from hopeful entrepreneurs with an idea to those who’ve been in business and are hitting brick walls, Engle says. The participants use open-source software, typically free and widely available so they can use it after classes end.