Group discussion in Operation Jump Start class
The Arkansas Women's Business Center (AWBC) and South Arkansas Community College’s Continuing Education Division recently partnered together to offer Operation Jump Start, an award-winning comprehensive business development training program in El Dorado. Graduation was held in April with 10 participants graduating from the program. Five participants submitted their business feasibility plans for the plan competition. Top winners won seed capital to cover business expenses. Participating businesses included: a rifle range, nonprofit animal shelter, construction, jams and jellies, name framing, assisted living, and bakery.
In addition, the AWBC partnered with National Park Community College in Hot Springs, AR to offer the Operation Jump Start program. From this program, eight participants graduated in June this year. Businesses included: a cupcake shop, gourmet food truck, massage therapy, janitorial services, fundraising auto shade business, wedding event planner, and aromatherapy business.
Since its inception in April 2011, the AWBC staff has:
• counseled and/or trained 136 clients for a total of 650 hours;
• connected six clients with a marketing expert to help develop marketing plans for their business;
• provided two clients with business Facebook pages;
• connected five clients with a certified public accountant;
• connected two clients with a restaurant expert;
• connected one client with a real estate expert, and
• graduated 18 entrepreneurs from the Operation Jump Start program.