Wendy Veatch says it’s time to stop working in your business, and start working on it.
Veatch, in her position as director of outreach programming for Wichita State University, is recruiting entrepreneurs for an 11-week class that will be taught in Marion.
The class is taught in seminar format, going from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays starting Sept. 10 and ending Nov. 19 at Marion Community Center. Those who complete the course will receive an entrepreneurial certificate.
Veatch said the crux of the program is geared specifically toward rural businesses.
The program has been taken by 119 businesses, including 23 in a recent class taught in Clay Center.
Veatch spoke to Marion Chamber of Commerce on Friday, and showed a testimonial video featuring Clay Center residents.
Praise was abundant for the program, from new business owners and experienced ones alike.
“We’ve had construction companies, restaurants, dog-grooming companies, law practices,” Veatch said. “We’ve had a whole variety.”
The $24,000 program will be paid for half by communities, and half by Network Kansas, an organization of which Marion Mayor Todd Heitschmidt is a board member.
Heitschmidt said he heard about the program through that board, and worked with Jones and chamber of commerce secretary Margo Yates to bring it to Marion.
Marion, Hillsboro, and county economic development groups contributed the local share. A registration fee of $200 is being collected to partially reimburse those groups.
Marion Economic Development Inc. has said it would reimburse a number of local business owners who complete the program. Some local banks, including Central National Bank and Tampa State Bank, have made similar offers.
The minimum number of participants is “15 or 16,” Marion economic development director Terry Jones said. He said they should reach that number without difficulty, but if not, the class would be canceled.
Veatch said businesses can sign up on a group basis, allowing for different individuals within the business to attend different weeks.
Single session registration is available for $50 a class.
Jones said he was handling registration for Marion businesses, while Clint Seibel and Teresa Huffman are handling registration for Hillsboro and the rest of the county, respectively.
Online registration also is available. Jones said registration is available until the class begins.