The workshop was presented by the Central Alabama Women’s Business Center, a project of the Schlarb Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs, which was established in 1999 to help socially and economically disadvantaged women business owners build and grow their business.
The CAWBC, which opened its doors in 2001, is funded in part by the Small Business Administration, and serves a seven county area which includes, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Walker, Talladega and Tuscaloosa counties.
CAWBC Program Development Manager Octavia Kuransky said the CAWBC found holding workshops of this nature became necessary because a lot of people do not realize that you can operate a business out of your home.
“A lot of people think going into business means borrowing millions of dollars, building a building, acquiring a few million in inventory, and traveling to China every other day,” Kuransky said. “And that’s not necessary. Not everyone opens a business in some big building with tons of inventory. A lot of the big businesses we have out there today started out as small home-based businesses.”
Kuransky said the benefits of starting a home based business include the fact there is minimal outlay of start-up funds, minimal time investment, minimal licensing, reduced planning, and it can help improve your tax position.
“Things have changed, including the economy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of the things I suggest to my clients is to not just notice the bad about things, because we all know a lot of people have lost their jobs lately, but as someone who works in business everyday, I see that as an opportunity for someone else,” Kuransky said. “When you see closings and layoffs, think of it as an opportunity. Don’t just read the newspaper or watch the news, watch for opportunities. Challenge yourself to look at the changes in the world as opportunity. And a home based business is also an opportunity for you to exercise real freedom by generating your own income. ”
Kuransky said starting a home based business begins with three simple steps, and can cost little to no money at all.
“The three steps of starting a home based business include clarifying your business idea, developing a business plan, and following that plan,” Kuransky said. “Write down things that interest you as you go through your day, and if you need help with seeing the things in another way, we’re here to help. The Central Alabama Women’s Business Center assists women in becoming economically self-sufficient through business ownership.”
Kuransky said the Central Alabama Women’s Business Center provides the following to women entrepreneurs:
•An educational scholarship; counseling and learning opportunities that build skills necessary to be successful business owners.
•Assistance in finding loans for those who are unable to obtain funding from traditional sources for their business growth needs.
•Programs about topics of interest to women business owners either going out on their own, starting a business or growing an existing business.
•Mentoring from successful and established women business owners to new or start-up businesses.
Simply call the CAWBC at 205-453-0249 or send the CAWBC an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a business counseling appointment.
You can also visit the CAWBC Web site at www.cawbc.org for more information.