15 adults complete course in entrepreneurship

With a small group of family and friends on hand, a dozen people were handed certificates that represent a step toward them reaching their dreams of running their own successful business. The ceremony, held June 5 at the Asylum Hill Family Center in Hartford, was the culmination of an Entrepreneurship course taught over 6 weeks by Alice Turner, the founder of URISE Ventures, a Hartford-based nonprofit focused on empowering the next generation of leaders.

Alice Turner (left), who taught the course, with Al Remy, one of the 15 who completed the course June 5.

Turner helped 15 students who completed the course to understand the complexities of starting and operating a business, while guiding them through the process of creating business plans with templates that each was assigned to complete. Some have already taken the first steps of running their businesses while others started the program with solid ideas about the direction they want to take.

“Many of the people here have a passion already,” Turner said. “Whether it’s food or cooking or hair and beauty. And what we do is help them understand how to create the business legally and how to set it up.”

Before the certificates were handed out, six students presented business plans to the rest of their class. Using slides on a screen, they described various facets of the business plan, like start-up costs, target customers, comparisons with competitors already in the field, revenue sources, and more. Then after some supportive applause, the fellow students and Turner asked questions and made comments about their plan.

Ashanae Boothe, a case manager who coordinates the program for Catholic Charities, said each “graduate” of the program receives a $250 stipend to use for registering their LLC, an official business structure required for tax purposes, and whatever other costs they face setting up the business. She also helps participants register for the class, makes sure expectations are clear, helps with technological issues, and supports them with homework like creating logos and presentations. 

“We’ve had so many successes with previous classes and hope to see the success rate continue for people out there wanting to dive into the entrepreneurial world,” Boothe said.

Funding for the program comes via grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The Hartford, and the Farmington Bank Community Foundation. For information about joining the next course, contact Boothe at aboothe@ccaoh.org.

Catholic Charities also offers an entrepreneur program at the Institute for the Hispanic Family in Hartford. For information, contact Marangely Burgos at 860-718-5084 or mburgos@ccaoh.org.