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BU, EDC, and KIN Host National Business Development Program

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Brescia University, the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the Kentucky Innovation Network are excited to announce that CO.STARTERS, a nationally renowned business development program, will soon be coming to Greater Owensboro.

What is CO.STARTERS?

CO.STARTERS is a platform to help communities grow local business. This nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. Unlike traditional platforms, CO.STARTERS applies the lean business modeling methods popular among high-growth startups to small businesses of all kinds.

How does it work?

Participants enter into a facilitator-led, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded peers. Working together, participants identify their assumptions about why and how their businesses will work, and then talk to customers in order to validate their ideas. This approach enables entrepreneurs to rapidly uncover flaws in their concepts and find viable models more quickly. Participants leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate their models, and repeat the process with the next great idea.

Who do we need?

We need to identify business leaders in our community to fill three roles:

  • Facilitators: Although a CO.STARTERS Facilitator needs to have experience starting and running a business, he or she doesn’t have to be the expert on everything. Rather, a Facilitator’s role is to guide participants through the program by asking the right questions, drawing on the knowledge in the room, and using available resources and connections in the community to point participants in the right direction. A strong Facilitator must enjoy working with groups and have a passion for helping other entrepreneurs succeed.
  • Guest Speakers: Throughout CO.STARTERS, Guest Speakers enrich the conversation, letting participants learn from the experience of others in the community. Guest Speakers share their particular insights into a topic and only need to commit 30 minutes or so of their time.
  • Mentors: With limited time and many participants, the facilitator often lacks the time needed to go deep one-on-one. Mentors can bring depth to the program by sitting in on sessions and offering input, as well as meeting with participants individually to guide them in the business development process.

How you can help

Brescia will be holding a community training on the CO.STARTERS program this Summer and would love for business leaders to participate. The goal of the training is for everyone to come together as community leaders to learn more about the program and figure out the best way for people to plug in moving forward.

You can learn more about the CO.STARTERS program by contacting Brescia University Director of Career Services and Program Administrator, Helen Bennett, at [email protected] or 270-315-4331.