First Steps series aimed at educating future entrepreneurs

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— Educating and encouraging small-business owners to be successful is a key part to economic development, which is why residents thinking about starting or developing a business are encouraged to attend a First Steps seminar.

This week, two of the seminars will be held in South Routt and Hayden. The free seminars are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Hayden and Thursday in Oak Creek.

Routt County Business Resource Director Noreen Moore said the seminar is invaluable for a business owner just getting started.

"Our whole focus is on the entrepreneurial side of economic development," she said. "These classes are a great start for anyone."

The seminar is being taught by Randy Rudasics, who facilitates the Yampa Valley chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit organization that counsels potential and existing entrepreneurs.

"People who attend these seminars are exposed to a wealth of knowledge from people who have been there and were very successful," she said. "It's a great chance for start-ups or existing business owners to attend because everyone gets something out of it."

Participants will learn how to develop a good business idea and funding options, assess strengths and weaknesses as a business owner and analyze potential for a business.

The First Steps seminar is the first course in a series of ongoing curriculum offered to the public. A Next Steps Workshop, meant to develop basic entrepreneurial skills, is from 12:30 to 6 p.m. June 14 and 15 at Colorado Mountain College. The cost is $100, but those who participated in the First Steps seminar receive a $40 credit toward the Next Steps seminar.

The First Steps and Next Steps seminars are organized by CMC, SCORE and Moore.

"We really believe in helping people generate business and to be entrepreneurs," she said. "There is great value in that to our communities."

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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