Conyers-Rockdale Chamber accepting applicants for 2018 Entrepreneurial Academy

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The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce is ready to help you learn the ins and outs of the business world and turn your passion into a business with the 2018 Entrepreneurial Academy. Starting on Monday, Feb. 12, the seven-week program offers individuals the essentials on starting and running a successful business.

“The entrepreneurial program is a course designed with the small business owner in mind. If you have dreams of starting your own business or are already an established business owner seeking to expand, the academy has something for you,” said Fred Boscarino, president/CEO of the Chamber. “Experienced business people who have been there, tried that, share their voices of experiences to help you avoid common pitfalls and be better prepared to establish your business for growth and prosperity.”

Taught by business leaders in the community, the curriculum includes sessions on legal entities, accounting, loan options, marketing, social media, insurance and human resources. Workshops vary from panel discussions to lectures and hands-on training.

“Of more than 300 academy graduates who have come through the program since it started in 2004, more than 50 percent are now in business for themselves,” said Boscarino. “In addition to gaining valuable information, you also have the opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals who hope to establish or expand a small business.”


The academy, which graduated 55 participants in 2017, draws participants from College Park, Decatur, Lithonia, Stone Mountain, Covington, Forest Park,  Stockbridge and McDonough.

A recent graduate of the academy said it took her two years to earn her master’s degree in business administration at the University of Phoenix. Esther Williams says it took her seven weeks at the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurial Academy to learn everything she needed to start her own business.

“Everything—from insurance to opening policies—was covered. It’s really what I needed to get things up and running,” said Williams, a retired Rutgers University professor.

After graduation from the academy, Williams launched the Green Hygiene Company, LLC. The mail order business in Decatur offers environmentally-safe cleaning products for both the corporate and household level.

The cost for the program is $175. Attendees who register by Feb. 1 will receive a $50 discount. The fee includes snacks for every session and a graduation dinner. After completing the Entrepreneurial Academy and starting your small business, participants will receive Continuing Education credits (CEUs) and a certificate of completion from Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Classes will be held from 6 – 9 p.m.

Students are encouraged to arrive no later than 6 p.m. to network and to make sure they are fully prepared for each session, which starts promptly at 6:30 p.m.

The course is open to the public and entrepreneurial experience is not necessary to apply. For more information or to register, visit or call 770-483-7049.


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