According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA.gov), more than 23 million businesses in the United States (U.S.) provide 55 percent of jobs, generate 54 percent of sales, and added eight million jobs since 1990.
With all of the optimism starting a new business can bring, the realism is success is not guaranteed. While approximately half a million businesses open each year, slightly higher numbers fail. According to Michael Ames, author of Small Business Management, some of the primary reasons businesses fail include: lack of experience, insufficient capital, poor inventory management, and unexpected growth. Craven Community College’s (CCC) Small Business Center (SBC) is committed to educating entrepreneurs and small businesses on how to increase their odds of success.
Pete Frey is one such entrepreneur who plans to start a business, add jobs and contribute to the local economy. Frey is a recent graduate of the NC REAL Entrepreneurial Academy offered by CCC SBC. “The entrepreneurial academy taught me it is important to get help from experts, such as attorneys and insurance companies, to avoid costly mistakes and delays,” said Frey, founder of Brewery 99. Aboating enthusiast, Frey moved to New Bern in 1999. That year and the fact he was born on September 9th, is the inspiration for his company’s name. Frey is currently working with government officials, filing paperwork and preparing to finance his business with a crowdfunding effort through Kickstarter. Frey has hopes of opening his brewery sometime this summer.
“The primary goal of our small business education and assistance programs is to increase the success rate and viability of small businesses in Craven County,” said Cindy Blot, director of the SBC at CCC. Blot is proud that CCC can provide expert help and support at no cost to local start-ups and small businesses. Prior to joining CCC, Blot served in commercial lending for many years and uses her experience to counsel small businesses.
The entrepreneurial academy is held in the spring and fall and consists of 10, three-hour workshops over five weeks. The next academy runs from February 4 to March 6, 2014. More information and registration can be found on the SBC’s website: www.cravencc.edu/sbc, or by calling Blot at 252- 638-1166.
The SBC at CCC is part of the Small Business Center Network (SBCN) and is among 58 centers located at community colleges throughout North Carolina (N.C.). The college’s SBC has been previously recognized as a SBC of excellence for the eastern N.C. region. All SBC workshops, counseling and referral services through CCC are fully funded and available at no cost to participants.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.