Thursday, February 19, 2009

Entrepreneurial Class

I will try to be more explanatory today, for those that don't know. In June, 2006, I accepted a voluntary severance offer from the IT company I then worked for. I promptly did all the things one does when one finds oneself unemployed - signed up for unemployment, got my resume in order, posted it on Monster and numerous other places.

While I was working I had often thought that I would like to start my own business once I retired. I realized that this was my time to be "temporarily retired", as no jobs were on the horizon.

One of the things the unemployment office offers, at least sometimes, is retraining. As luck would have it, all programs were unavailable except for an entrepreneurial training program which at the time was offered in at least 4 locations. My career center advisor, the person I worked with while unemployed, suggested the program at Northern Essex Community College. I attended an info session, applied, had an interview with the instructor for the program, and then waited. After what seemed an eternity, I found out I had been accepted.

The program ran for 20 weeks total, with the first 8 weeks being devoted to classroom with "homework", then 3 weeks geared towards creating a business plan. Then there was one week of presenting business plans to business people who critiqued the plan and presentation from their point of view, being banking, legal, etc. And finally, a few weeks for working the plan, with optional 1 hour per week meetings during this time period with the instructor.

When I finished my thought was "wow, this is like getting an MBA in 8 weeks, only better". I was exhausted but had learned so much - something no business school could have taught me (believe me, I went through a BA program nights, and except for some accounting this was almost all new to me!)

So, the reason for my post is this. This program is not only open to those on unemployment, but to anyone in the local area. I had such a good experience at NECC, that I highly recommend it to anyone in business or thinking of starting a business. A new program is about to begin, here are the details sent to me from the program's instructor:

"Entrepreneurial Training Program
The ETP is an exciting program that helps students think through their business and create a solid business plan plus provides the skills and knowledge to successfully implement that plan.
This 20 week daytime program consists of classroom training, presentations by subject matter experts, business plan presentations, and one-on-one consulting and is instructed by an experienced instructor and business consultant, Paul Jermain of Jermain & Company.
Spring session is scheduled to begin March 10, 2009. This program is MA Section 30/ITA approved; some dislocated workers and others may qualify for tuition assistance. Program is approved for Federal Education Benefits for eligible veterans, selected reservists and eligible dependents.
For information regarding the procedure for applying to this program or to reserve a seat at an information session, please call: Diane Zold-Gross at 978-659-1221 or e-mail at "

I hope you find it of use to you, I sure did!

Peace, Judi


Karen said...

Congrats Judi!

Suldog said...

Excellent advice for folks trying to find their way after a setback.

CSD Faux Finishing said...

I know how invaluable this experience was for you, hopefully lots of people take your advice and check out the program!

Unknown said...

Hi Judi,
Just wanted to reinforce what you've said on the ETP Program.
I did my business plan power point presentation today! The class is amazing! I learned so much in 10 Paul put it to me today as I was overwhelmed writing my evaluation of the's like getting a mini MBA in 10 weeks. Anyone who has the opportunity take the class. Even if you don't end up starting a'll be happy you did