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SPI hosts biz boot camp; First session of six-week course starts Oct. 2

September 27, 2018

The Women’s Business Center of Cameron County is signing up participants for the second Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp to be held on South Padre Island.

The six-week course offers practical instruction in business best practices to help maximize the chance of success for aspiring and established business owners, managers and other professionals. The upcoming boot camp starts Oct. 2 with an entrepreneurial talent assessment designed by Gallup Inc., followed by a session on marketing on social media on Oct. 9.

The next consecutive four Tuesdays will feature sessions on human resources, business planning, financing and contracting, and on Nov. 6, resources and leadership strategies, followed by a graduation ceremony.

Andrea Benton, WBCCC executive director, said last year’s SPI boot camp had 16 participants, all women, some of whom drove from Brownsville and Harlingen, and all of whom graduated. So far this year about five people have signed up, she said.

“We’re trying to do a little more of our social outreach, delivering posters to different businesses,” Benton said. “Hopefully we’ll get more. ... Even if we have five or six it would still be a good training and beneficial to the attendees, because they can get a lot more interaction and one-on-one counseling for their business.”

WBCCC partnered with the SPI Chamber of Commerce to promote the program locally and find a location, she said. The Tuesday sessions will take place 9 a.m. to noon at Lone Star National Bank, 601 Padre Blvd.

“They have a really nice meeting room on the top floor with a view of the bay, so I think it’s going to be a really nice location for our boot campers,” Benton said.

The program has proven popular. It was established by former Brownsville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Angela Burton in 2010, and graduated its first class of 10 students that year. WBCCC took over the program in 2016 and has expanded it to Weslaco and San Benito as well as SPI.

Since January 2017, the boot camp has had 108 participants, 99 of them women, Benton said. Even though the course was designed for women entrepreneurs, it’s also open to men.

“It doesn’t benefit only business owners or entrepreneurs,” Benton said. “We’ve had Realtors. We have had bankers, directors of nonprofits, business managers — it benefits them all. The different sessions are applicable for any type of business or organization.”

The cost is $75 for all six sessions. Applications are required. For more information, email to info@wbc-cc.com, visit www.wbc-cc.com or call (956) 542-5322.

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

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