Aiming to help metro Detroit entrepreneurs who have small businesses that are only a year or two old, the Center of Empowerment and Economic Development kicked off Entrepreneur Week on Monday with a roundtable panel at Focus: HOPE.
"This is a week dedicated to entrepreneurship," said Robin Kinnie, an event organizer and the business development manager for CEED. "Our vision, at the end of the four days, is that we'll have this database of small-business owners and we can engage them."
The programs, she said, are free to about 50 participants and set to continue 9 a.m.-noon through Thursday, at 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit. The week is to end with a closing reception at Wayne State University Law School's 471 W. Palmer.
Initially, Kinnie said, the programs were designed for people seeking to start businesses.
But, she added, they were retooled this year to focus on small-business owners who already are operating and need more help to give their budding enterprises a boost. In addition to information, the participants get to connect with each other and nonprofit groups that can help them.
Each day, the speakers focus on different topics:
-- Tuesday: The presentations are on the significance of joining neighborhood business associations and what business owners should know about real estate law.
-- Wednesday: The sessions are on financial statements, business taxes -- and meeting tax law requirements.
-- Thursday: The workshops offer resources specifically for entrepreneurs in the food industry.
Rhoda St. Luce, the owner of the Platinum Chef, said she signed up for the sessions so she can learn more to expand her business. She added that she is eager to hire employees and find offices for her company, which she is running out of her home in Southfield.
"I came to become more educated about business," she said.
The program, said David Lee, the president of Design Source Media in Sterling Heights, gave him good ideas, especially as he seeks to expand the business. It also, he said, put him in touch with others who he plans to follow up with.
"Hopefully," he said, "these are people who can help me take it to the next level."
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Original headline: Entrepreneur Week seeks to help beginning businesses
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