Conyers-Rockdale Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Academy shows you how to turn your passion into a business

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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 2016 Entrepreneurial Academy. Starting on Monday, Sept. 12, this seven-week program offers motivated individuals the essential information needed to start and run a successful business.

“This entrepreneurial program is a course designed with the small business entrepreneur in mind. Whether you have an existing business or dreams of starting one in the future, 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.

Through a series of workshops, seasoned entrepreneurs share their lessons learned. Each week, a new topic is introduced. The format ranges from panel discussions to lecture to hands-on training.

“Of more than 300 academy graduates who have come through the program since it started in 2004, more than 50% 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 draws participants from Stockbridge, College Park, Stone Mountain, Covington, Forest Park, Lithonia, Decatur 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 six 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.

Since graduation, Williams has launched the Green Hygiene Company, LLC. The business offers environmentally-safe cleaning products for both, the corporate and the household level. She says right now she is running a successful mail-order businesses in Decatur.

The cost for the program is $175. 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. at the Rockdale Career Academy (RCA) building, 1064 Culpepper Drive, SW, Conyers. S28tudents are encouraged to arrive no later than 6:00 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, including those who are still pondering if they want to go out and start their own business. For more information or to register, call 770-483-7049.

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