Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 29, 2013

Final class for start-up

Students could earn funds for beginning a business

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The final class of the “Going Into Business Seminar presented by the Small Business Development Center and the Athens Economic Development Corporation is Tuesday, and presentations that could earn a student funds to set up a local business will follow.

The 6-week-long class began Feb. 19. Final  presentations for a $30,000 business start-up grant are set for April 16. The students will get 10-15 minutes to explain why they should get the funds. If there are enough entries, a preliminary round of presentations will be held on April 9.

“With $30,000 available, the presentations could get exciting,” SBDC Director Mike Ellsberry said.

AEDC President Brian Malone and Ellsberry both have offices in the Athens Partnership Center on West Corsicana Street. Earlier this year, they announced the plan to bring their services together, and planned the seminar that they hope can be beneficial to budding business owners and the community, as well.

Ellsberry is pleased with the way the class has gone, and is looking forward to the final presentations. The plans will be judged on several criteria, such as the projected size of the business, and if there is a market in Athens for the venture.

“We had two non-profits attend classes, just because they wanted the information, even though they’re not eligible for the grant,” Ellsberry said. “A couple of people in the class wanted to start businesses outside the city limits.”

From the AEDC’s point of view, the class has been a success, Malone said, and he’s looking forward to seeing the business presentation.

“Mike and his group have done a great job. The information they’ve been able to convey to those folks has been really top-notch,” Malone said. “I think it is really doing what we wanted to do in giving people quality information they can use in starting a business.”