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Deadline Day For Biz Owners To Apply For Pitt Program

Posted by Elwin Green on May 26, 2017 at 7:50 AM

Today is the deadline for Homewood business owners to apply for a University of Pittsburgh program designed to help them grow their businesses.

The "Community Power to Prosper" Program, launching June 6, will offer classes on strategic thinking, financial analysis, marketing and social media, among other topics. Its 13 sessions will run through November 14, with classes being held every two weeks (substituting June 27 for July 4), from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

The program is being offered by The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, part of Pitt's Innovation Institute, and is underwritten by The Heinz Endowments.

Nicole M. Hudson, program manager for the Institute's Urban and Community Entrepreneurship Program and Entrepreneurial Fellows Class, said that this will be the seventh go-round for the program, which has been offered previously in such locations as Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg and the Riverside Center for Innovation on the North Shore.

This time, classes will be held at Bible Center Church, 717 N. Homewood Avenue.

"Because of all the revitalization taking place in the Homewood area," she said, "we thought that it would be a great opportunity to work with the local business owners, to make sure that when all these new things take place, that they are ready for that change.

"We want people to be able to embrace the change and be prepared for it when it comes."

That desire to help business owners be prepared led to an extension of the application deadline, which was originally May 1.

The program is open to owners of businesses that have at least one full-time employee other than the themselves, and have been operating for at least two years.

The two-page application asks for "approximate annual sales," with check boxes that start at $50,000, but Ms. Hudson said that owners of smaller businesses should not let that throw them off, "as long as you are progressing, and you are moving forward, and you are ambitious, and you are serious about your business."

Just above the signature line on the application is a pledge: "If accepted, I am fully committed to attending all sessions and coming prepared to embark on a journey of lifelong learning that will result in the success of my business."

As a fan of lifelong learning, I applaud that, and hope everyone who gets into the program does indeed remain on that journey.

To apply, download the application form, complete it and return it to Ms. Hudson at nhudson@innovation.pitt.edu.

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