For students who once dreamed of turning their lemonade stand or iPhone screen fixing service into a full-fledged business, the Penn State Small Business Development Center plans to offer a seminar that aims to help those young entrepreneurs.
On March 18, the Small Business Development Center is holding a special free seminar from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in 160 Willard Building for Penn State students, faculty and staff. The topic of the seminar is The First Step of Starting a Business. The free seminar will be a shortened version of the center’s typical First Steps seminar, lasting an hour and a half rather than three hours.
The First Steps of Starting a Business seminar will highlight the most important parts of starting a business, especially the parts most people don’t think about, said Linda Feltman, business consultant at the Small Business Development Center.
According to the center’s website, the agenda includes topics such as lifestyle requirements as a business owner, legal and tax implications, financial planning, health and safety precautions and more. The goal is to raise questions in students’ minds that they should be, but probably aren’t, asking, Feltman, who is also teaching the seminar, said.
“This is the best time in students’ lives to start a business,” she said. “You’ve got the support, mentors and time. Even though right now you think you don’t.”
Mac Frederick (senior-advertising), a franchised technician of iCracked, has attended two SBDC seminars in the past.
“Places like SBDC will start you from the ground up, even if you have no idea what you are doing. It’s just a great facilitator service. They really care. They take an interest in your business to make sure you succeed,” he said.
Aparna Joshi, associate professor of management and organization at the Smeal College of Business, said a seminar about the organization of small businesses would be helpful to students.
“We don’t focus enough on how small business manage themselves, so [the seminar] would be helpful across many majors,” she said.
The Small Business Development Center is also holding a variety of seminars at Innovation Park in the upcoming weeks.
A seminar with the topic Shale Energy 101 — Small Business Supply Chain Opportunities will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 27 in 200 Tech Center in room 243. The cost is $99 and the event includes lunch.
On March 28, there will be a seminar on The Second Step of Starting a Business- Writing a Business Plan also in 200 Tech Center in room 243. It is being held from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $29.
The Penn State Small Business Development Center has been holding seminars such as these for the past 15 years, said Laurie Linton, educational programming coordinator for the Small Business Development Center.
According to the center’s website, the ultimate goal is to boost State College and central Pennsylvania’s economy through small business growth.